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Lansford man charged following lewd incidents

Published March 30. 2012 05:01PM

Ryan B. Sharpe, 28, 319 W. Abbott St., Lansford, faces charges as a result of an incident which took place between Jan. 1 and March 19. Charges of corruption of minors (a felony), indecent exposure, and open lewdness were filed by Det./Sgt. Jack Soberick and Officer Joshua Tom.

According to an affidavit of probable cause, Soberick was assigned to assist in the investigation of a man exposing himself and performing lewd acts in public. Beginning in late 2010 and early in January 2010, the department investigated complaints by young girls that a heavy-set, white male in a small red car would pull up close to them and expose himself while performing a lewd act. The man would not attempt contact, and would drive off.

As time went on and the incidents continued, witness information became more accurate and police were able to focus on a red or maroon Subaru as the involved vehicle.

On Jan. 11, two 14-year-old girls reported that the man exposed himself to them on East Bertsch Street, near the former Panther Valley Middle School. They said it was the second time such an incident had occurred.

On March 9, two other 14-year-old girls reported a similar incident at the main entrance to the Panther Valley stadium.

On March 13, a woman reported that a man driving a maroon vehicle had exposed himself. She got the license plate number, which belonged to a local man. The vehicle fit the description of the one used in other incidents.

On March 19, the red Subaru pulled up near two 14-year-olds and a 13-year-old, and the driver exposed himself while committing a lewd act. The father of one of the children followed the car and got the license number, which was the same as seen by the woman in the prior incident.

Lansford police asked Nesquehoning Officer Timothy Wuttke to go to the address of the car's owner. It turned out the owner was out of the country, but that Sharpe had been using the car.

Soberick and Helmer found the car outside Sharpe's house. Contact was made with Sharpe, who fit the description of the male from the incidents.

Sharpe was asked to come to the police station, where he was read and waived his Miranda rights and agreed to speak with Soberick, admitting the acts.

Sharpe gave police in a written statement that he occasionally committed lewd acts while in his car and that people had seen him.

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