RIMERSBURG — A 71-year-old Rimersburg man faces numerous charges after police said they found 13 images of a 15-year-old girl in various stages of undress and to the point of nudity.
According to court documents, James Earl Arner gave the girl food and “pods” for vaping pens in exchange for hugs and photos.
The suspect is not Clarion County Senior Judge James G. Arner and is not affiliated with judge.
According to court documents filed at District Judge Jeff Miller’s office in New Bethlehem, state police were alerted to the possibility of child abuse by an online referral.
According to the documents, police interviewed the guardian of the girl, who told police Arner sometimes took the girl to doctor and other appointments when the guardian had to work.
The guardian, the documents said, told police that he sometimes found Arner’s behavior odd, and related Arner would bring food to the house for the girl but not for her siblings.
According to the documents, the guardian said after another girl tipped him off to inappropriate text messages between the girl and Arner, he told Arner to stay away from the house when he was at work.
The guardian, the documents said, told police Arner continued to come to the house when the guardian was not at home, and that Arner recently purchased an Apple iPhone 12 for the girl. Online resources indicate an Apple iPhone can cost between $800 and $1,100.
According to the documents, the guardian said he had many of the text messages between Arner and the girl saved on his telephone and showed those messages to police.
Police, the documents said, observed texts from the girl to Arner, asking him to buy “pods” for her vaping use and promising hugs and a picture.
According to the documents, Arner asked for photographs of the girl in a swimsuit and said he would give one pod and she could get another by sending him a photo of herself after getting out of the shower.
Arner, the documents said, also sent a text message referencing dinner together and that dropping things off for her was “making him nuts.”
The documents said Arner’s online profile icon was that of a knight in armor.
Police interviewed the 15-year-old girl, who admitted to the texting relationship, according to the documents.
The girl, the documents said, told police when Arner brought her food or other things, she would allow him to hug her, at which time he would squeeze her tight and sometimes smack her on the buttocks.
According to the documents, the girl told police Arner purchased the Apple iPhone for her and pays the monthly service fee.
Based on the interviews, the documents said, police obtained a search warrant for various electronic devices at Arner’s home. Police investigators allegedly found the images of the girl with her first name.
Arner is charged with 13 counts of possession of child pornography, a second-degree felony; illegal contact with a minor for sexual purposes, also a second-degree felony; criminal use of a communication facility, a third-degree felony; corruption of a minor, a first-degree misdemeanor; and indecent assault on a person less than 16, a second-degree misdemeanor, all between September and October in Madison Township.
Arner has posted $75,000 bail and is scheduled to return to court Nov. 2 for a preliminary hearing on the charges.