PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A convicted sex offender accused of contacting a boy on Facebook and arranging meetings that led to sex will stand trial.
Joseph Thomas, 41, appeared in court for a preliminary hearing on Wednesday. He was also charged in three new cases that were brought up in court.
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.
Additional charges in three similar cases were filed against Thomas today.
Each case involves minors who were all initially contacted by Thomas on Facebook, which lead to texting.
The first new case brought up today allegedly happened over the summer and involved a 16-year-old boy.
He testified in court and said he knew Thomas by the alias of “Jay Thomas.”
He said Thomas contacted him to hang out and in return, he would give him money and marijuana.
During a second meeting, the teen said Thomas performed oral sex on him.
Also brought up in court today were cases involving two cousins, ages 14 and 15.
This time, Thomas used the alias of “Austin Thompson.”
In this case, the victims met twice over the summer in Port Vue and were offered marijuana and money in exchange for sex acts.
The judge ordered Thomas to be held for trial in all three new cases in addition to the original charges he faced in Elizabeth for the sexual assault of a 14-year-old boy.
There is another case involving minors out of Baldwin as well. A preliminary hearing on those charges is scheduled for next month.
Prosecutors believe there are more cases out there, but aren’t sure how many at this time.
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