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Exchanging a tattoo for sex with a 15-year-old girl has put Walter Meyerle in criminal court in suburban Bucks County, outside Philadelphia, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer.
And then, after Meyerle was arraigned on March 16, more tattoo-for-sex transactions with minors allegedly involving Meyerle emerged.
Way, way more.
After Meyerle was arraigned on March 16, 13 additional minors and two adults came forward to complain of multiple and repeated tattoo-for-sex trades.
Now Meyerle faces 195 felony charges of sexual assault against minors aged 4-17, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Meyerle, 34, of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, now stands charged with 195 separate crimes, most felony sexual assaults, involving 14 children. That includes multiple counts of involuntary sexual intercourse, aggravated indecent assault, statutory sexual assault and unlawful use of a communications facility. Some counts allege victims under the age of 10 years, say prosecutors. In addition to the original charges of raping and assaulting the 15-year old. Meyerle also faces a misdemeanor charge of tattooing a minor, reports The Intelligencer.
Meyerle is being held on $5 million bail, reports the Inquirer.
Authorities have stated Meyerle knew the victims through friends and family, reports The Intelligencer.
Meyerle allegedly tattooed a picture on the pelvic area of the 15-year old girl. Prosecutors allege Meyerle had sexual intercourse multiple times with the girl, reports the Inquirer.
In the case based on the 15-year-old girl alone, Meyerle faces 300 years in prison. Most felony counts pending agaisnst Meyerle carry 20-year sentences under Pennsylvania law, say prosecutors.
"We stopped counting after 1,000 years," prosecutor David Heckler regarding the potential sentencing in Meyerle's case, told the Inquirer.
Specific laws vary by state, but sexual assault generally refers to any crime in which the offender subjects the victim to sexual touching that is unwanted and offensive. These crimes can range from sexual groping or assault/battery, to attempted rape.
"It doesn't get much lower than this guy. He shouldn't be breathing," said Fred Harran, Bensalem, PA's public safety director to the Bucks County Courier Times.
Walter Meyerle faces trial in the tattoo for sex case later this year.