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Export man must register as sex offender

Wednesday, July 23, 2014, 10:51 p.m.
 

A 64-year-old Export man accused of using a Beaver County charter school's wireless Internet connection to try to meet someone he believed was a 14-year-old girl told a judge he wants to become a productive member of society, once he is released from prison.

“I'm very sorry for what I've done,” Theodore Mamel said during his sentencing hearing on Wednesday before Fayette County President Judge John F. Wagner Jr.

“I want to be contrite,” Mamel said. “I want to be a law-abiding citizen as fast as I can.”

Noting his age, Mamel asked for mercy in sentencing. Wagner, in accordance with a plea bargain, sentenced Mamel to one to two years in state prison.

Wagner ordered Mamel to register as a sex offender for 25 years. If the state's Sexual Offenders Assessment Board recommends Mamel be classified as a sexually violent predator, the registration period will be amended to lifetime, Wagner said.

Wagner said because Mamel is a first-time offender, it's unlikely he will meet the criteria for a sexually violent offender. Wagner told Mamel the 25-year-registration period “at 64 is probably close to the rest of your life.”

Mamel on Monday entered guilty pleas to child pornography, dissemination of child pornography and criminal use of a communication facility. In exchange, prosecutors will drop two counts of unlawful contact with a minor, said Meghann Mikluscak, assistant district attorney.

Southwest Regional Police said Mamel sent pornography and child pornography to the person he believed was the teenager using wireless Internet connections. One of the connections was through a Beaver County charter school, Lincoln Park Center for the Performing Arts, where he worked as a piano repairman, police said.

The center suspended Mamel after his arrest.

Police arrested Mamel as he was headed to meet the person he thought was a Belle Vernon teenager, according to a police report. Police officers posed as the girl during a monthlong investigation.

According to police, on Jan. 8 Mamel posted a Craigslist advertisement seeking “girls that want to try some taboo sex,” according to an affidavit of probable cause.

On Jan. 9, a Southwest Regional police officer responded to the online ad, posing as a 14-year-old girl. From Jan. 14 to 17, Mamel spoke online with the officer and sent pornographic images of juveniles to the person he believed to be a teen, according to the affidavit.

On Feb. 10, Mamel said he would like to meet the “girl.”

The meeting was to take place on Feb. 12, but police instead stopped Mamel in the 200 block of Main Street.

Southwest Regional police Chief John Hartman asked Mamel if he was communicating with a young girl from Belle Vernon, and the defendant nodded his head and said, “Can I have one of your guns so I can just shoot myself?”

Liz Zemba is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-601-2166 or lzemba@tribweb.com.

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