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ICAC detectives arrest two out-of-state men, one who traveled to Delaware County to meet child for sex

DATE:  July 22, 2015
CONTACT PERSON: Emily H. Harris- 610.891.4163

Media, Pa – Today District Attorney Jack Whelan announced that two out-of-state men are behind bars for sexual contact with minors, including a Maryland man who traveled to Delaware County to meet who he thought was a 15-year-old boy. The arrests come at the conclusion of two separate undercover investigations conducted by the Delaware County Criminal Investigation Division (CID) Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) and partner agencies.

George William Smith, 51, of Barberton, Ohio, is charged with photograph/filming child sex act, contact  with a minor, dissemination of child pornography, criminal use of a communications facility, and corruption of minors.

On April 8, Det. Ken Bellis and Det. Chris Tanklewicz met with the mother of a 13-year-old girl who believed her daughter was communicating with various people through social media, including an adult male from Ohio. She told detectives that her daughter was communicating with the man on Skype, using a Kindle tablet. After a forensic review of the device, detectives learned that more than 4,500 messages were exchanged between the 13-year-old and the Ohio man with the email address George.smith5284, who was later identified by authorities as George Smith. Many of the conversations were sexual in nature, even after Smith learned that the victim was 13 years of age. Forensics also revealed that the victim and Smith had communicated on the phone.

On May 28, Det. Pisani interviewed the victim at the Delaware County Child Advocacy Center (CAC). During the interview, the victim told Det. Pisani that Smith asked her to send nude pictures of herself to him, and she complied. She also said Smith has seen her naked on Skype, via the video chat interface and has also seen her masturbate, which he asked her to do. She told detectives that Smith knows a lot about her including what bus she takes, her friends, where she lives, and what school she goes to.

On July 21, detectives with the Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children task force executed a search warrant on George Smith’s residence. However, detectives learned that Smith was actually in Delaware County for work.  That same day, Det. Pisani, Det. Bellis, and Det. Tankelewicz located Smith. The detectives spoke with him, and he admitted that he met the victim online using the anonymous chat website, Omegle. In a statement, he told detectives that he spoke with her via Skype video and asked her to send him nude pictures even though he knew she was under the age of 18 years. 

George William Smith was arrested on Tuesday, July 21 and remanded to the Delaware County Prison after he failed to post bail. He was arraigned by Magisterial District Judge Wendy Roberts, who set bail at $250,000 cash with conditions of no contact with minors, no contact with the victim or victim’s family, psychosexual evaluation, and no internet.

On Monday, detectives conducting a separate investigation arrested a Maryland man for attempting to meet who he believed was a 15-year-old boy.

Ralph Edward Fisher, 37, of the 400 block of Clear Blossom Drive, Elkton, Maryland is facing multiple felony charges. His arrest comes at the conclusion of an undercover investigation conducted by the Delaware County Criminal Investigation Division (CID) Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) and Ridley Township Police Department.

On Monday, June 15, Officer Leo Doyle, of the Ridley Township Police Department, acting in an undercover capacity, answered an advertisement posted on an internet website, titled “Horny for sum young meat.” During the course of the six-month long investigation, Officer Doyle went undercover as Brian, a 15-year-old boy, and engaged in numerous conversations with Ralph Fisher, 37, which developed into a sexual nature through email.

During the course of the investigation, Fisher stated, “I can’t wait to be with this hottie” referring to Brian. Specifically, on July 12, Fisher told Brian that he wanted to masturbate with him and use his mouth to perform oral sex on Brian. He sent multiple pictures of his genitals to Brian, stating that he “got hard thinkin of u so I decided to send them to u,” referring to Brian. On July 15, he asked Brian to send a naked image of himself. Also, on the day, he stated that they could get a hotel room and he could perform oral sex on Brian. He also said he would bring money so they could have fun.

On July 20, Fisher made arraignments with Brian to meet that day at 3:00 pm at the Pathmark located at 420 MacDade Blvd, in Folsom. At approximately 1:30 pm, Det. Bellis was conducting surveillance at 408 Clear Blossom Drive in Elkton, Maryland, and observed Fisher’s car, a 2003 Maroon colored GMC Yukon parked outside. At 1:55 pm, Fisher contacted Brian and said he was going to shower before he left to meet him. At 2:22 pm, he stated that he was on his way. At 3:33 pm, Fisher arrived at the arranged meeting spot at the Pathmark. He was taken into custody by authorities without incident.

Ralph Fisher is charged with attempted and solicitation of statutory sexual assault, attempted and solicitation of indecent assault of persons less than 16 years of age, contact with a minor, criminal use of a communications facility, and photograph/filming of child sex acts.

He was arraigned on Monday, July 20, by Magisterial District Judge Vincent Gallagher, who set bail at ten percent of $100,000 which he failed to post. He is now at the county prison. His Preliminary hearing is scheduled for Aug. 3, 2015.

“I would like to commend Det. Pisani, Det. Bellis, Det. Tankelewicz and Officer Leo Doyle of the ICAC Unit for their swift action to apprehend this dangerous child predator. I would also like to thank the Elkton Police Department for their assistance with this case,” said District Attorney Jack Whelan. “While the internet is a valuable learning tool for our children, it also provides a doorway for sexual predators to attempt to lure and harm children. It is imperative that as parents we continue to monitor the online and cell phone activity of our children to protect them from predators that are out there looking for victims.

                  George William                                                       Ralph Fisher