WASHINGTON COUNTY (KDKA) — A convicted sex offender is accused of Megan’s Law violations for allegedly contacting a boy on social media and arranging meetings that led to sex.
Police say the victim, who is 14-years-old, met 41-year-old Joseph Thomas on Facebook using the website’s messenger function.
The victim says Thomas used a fake name and exchanged phone numbers with the teen, then continued to contact him.
Investigators say the two met up at least six times over a four-week period, and that Thomas would sometimes give marijuana or wine coolers to the teen in exchange for sex.
“They just lead them into one thing after another,” said Allegheny County Police Asst. Supt. James Morton. “First it’s conversation, then they want to meet them, and they they provide them with some gifts and presents like this and it just goes on and gets more serious as time goes on.”
Police used the boy’s cell and social media accounts to track Thomas, and eventually arrested him.
Thomas, of Washington, Pa., is facing several charges in the case.
Police are worried there may be more victims. Anyone who had contact online with a person calling themselves “Austin Thompson” is asked to contact police.
Police sources tell KDKA’s Kym Gable that county investigators are now also working with the Baldwin Police Department on a similar case. They’re trying to determine if Thomas has any connection to an incident there.
Parents are being urged to check their children’s social media accounts for any suspicious activity.
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