On July 16, 2018, Blair County prosecutors filed additional charges against the alleged mastermind of a local child prostitution ring – nearly two weeks after he was first charged in connection with the ring.
Court records reveal that Stephen Jason Apostolu, 30, was charged with one count of sexual exploitation of children (a second degree felony); one count of unlawful contact or communication with a minor (a first degree felony); one count ofcorruption of minors (a third degree felony); one count of manufacturing, delivering, or possessing with the intent to manufacture or deliver (a felony); one count of trafficking in minors (a first degree felony); one count of designing or copying obscene material (a Class 1 misdemeanor); one count of criminal solicitation ( a first degree felony); two counts of knowingly or permitting a child to be photographed, filmed, or depicted on a computer engaged in a sex act (a first degree felony); one count of conspiracy to knowingly or permitting a child to be photographed, filmed, or depicted on a computer engaged in a sex act (a first degree felony); and two counts of child pornography (a second degree felony).
We initially covered this story when news broke that Apostolu, and his co-conspirator Kara S. Tornatore, were charged with the trafficking of a 16 year-old female – the first time trafficking charges were filed in Blair County. Apostolu now faces charges involving another victim, this time a 17 year-old female whom he was originally implicated to have victimized along with Amy Brosch. Our report on that case can be found here. Apostolu allegedly supplied and encouraged the victim to smoke methamphetamine with himself and Brosch before demanding her to perform sex acts while he recorded.
The CSE applauds the continuing efforts of Blair County investigators in combating the trafficking of minors. Without their work, this particular child sex trafficking ring could have victimized countless children, subjecting them to a life of violence and abuse which no child should endure.
As always, we will continue to provide updates as more details arise.
All views expressed herein are personal to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law or Villanova University.