HARRISBURG — An Elkins Park man has been arrested by state authorities for allegedly sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl and filming the incident.
Joshua Warner, 24, was charged by the Office of Pennsylvania Attorney General with unlawful contact with a minor, statutory sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault, manufacturing child pornography, possession of child pornography and criminal use of a communication facility in connection with the alleged incident.
Attorney General Michelle Henry announced the filing of the charges against Warner.
Warner, whose exact address in Elkins Park was not released, was arrested at his home on June 15.
Following his arraignment on the felony charges, bail was set at $250,000 cash. Warner was unable to post bail and remains in the county jail while awaiting a June 29 preliminary hearing on the charges before District Court Judge Harry J. Nesbitt III.
Warner met the victim online and the two communicated through the social media platform Discord, an instant messaging platform that allows users to communicate through text messages in private chats, according to state investigators.
“These charges show the opportunities social media presents to predators who hide online under the cover of anonymity,” Henry said. “As if the sexual assault of a child is not horrific enough, this defendant chose to film the crimes. My office will continue to find and prosecute those who prey upon children.”
An investigation by the attorney general’s office and Upper Moreland Township police found that Warner had been communicating with his 14-year-old victim via Discord. The defendant arranged a meeting with the child and engaged in unlawful sex acts with her, knowing she was 14, investigators alleged.
An analysis of Warner’s cellphone revealed that he had recorded the crimes and saved video to his cellphone.
Anyone who has information about child predators is urged to contact the Attorney General’s Child Predator Section at 1-800-385-1044. Concerned citizens can also report child abuse to the Pennsylvania ChildLine by calling 1-800-932-0313.
Senior Deputy Attorney General Michelle Laucella is prosecuting the case.