SPECIAL ATTENTION PARENTS
The Altoona Police Department is asking parents whose children are active on social media sites to check the contacts and conversation history for the names of “Benjamin Richards” and “Mario Plummer Richards” (alias). Our investigation has revealed that Richards poses as a 16-year-old male juvenile and grooms juvenile victims by initiating contact with them by speaking about sports, skateboarding etc. The conversations then become more suggestive and sexual in nature over time.
Richards has indicated that he is sexually attracted to boys between the ages of 10 and 16 years of age. In addition to luring children through social media the investigation has revealed that Richards frequents business locations in the area of 7th Avenue and 17th Street in addition to city pools and parks with hopes of observing juveniles in varying stages of undress for his own sexual gratification. Although Richards indicated that he prefers boys between 10 and 16 years of age he was in possession of child pornography depicting children as young as 3 years of age. All parents are encouraged to ascertain if their children have had contact or attempted contact with Richards in furtherance of our investigation.
If your child has had any questionable contact or conversation with Richards we are asking you contact Detective Corporal Nicole Douglas at 814-949-2517 or email her at email@example.com
Richards is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.