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Man, 39, to plead guilty on calls to girl, age 11

Published February 09. 2011 05:00PM

A Luzerne County man, 39, who has a criminal record of harassment by communication, yesterday waived a hearing for charges that he made suggestive telephone calls to an 11-year-old Carbon County girl.

Nico Anthony Botch, of Hazleton, was arraigned via telephone by Carbon County District Judge Casimir Kosciolek of Lansford. Botch is presently lodged in Laurel Highlands State Prison.

In Carbon, he was charged with three counts of harassment, two of them misdemeanors and one a summary.

Assistant District Attorney Joseph Matika said Botch waived the hearing and agreed to plead guilty to one harassment charge - a misdemeanor.

In Luzerne County, Botch currently is awaiting trial on charges of stalking and harassment by communication.

Botch was arrested by Officer Jason Helmer of the Lansford Police Department after being notified that an 11 year old girl was called by the same male about four times last June 17.

The girl's father informed the police officer that his daughter "told him the man was saying 'bad things' to her over the phone." The father was unable to get a call-back number.

Helmer interviewed the girl, who said the caller asked her age, to which she responded that she was 11 years old. He then allegedly asked the girl if she was wearing underwear.

According to the affidavit, there were four phone calls from Botch to the girl in a 20 minute period - between 8:09 and 8:25 p.m. Police determined the calls came from a residence in Hazleton.

Helmer said in the affidavit that when he contacted Botch, the defendant "immediately asked, 'Is this about making harassing phone calls?'"

The police officer adds in the affidavit, "Botch recalled making a phone call to a female on the alleged date and claimed to have dialed the wrong number."

Kosciolek set bail at $1,000 cash. He will appear in Carbon County Court on March 15 to make the guilty plea.

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