This Was Such A Shock.............

John blueoval at 1SMARTISP.NET
Mon Sep 26 11:39:38 MDT 2005

Try this:

O-R sports editor nabbed in state child-sex sting
BY KATHIE O. WARCO, Staff writer

kwarco at

The state Attorney General's Child Predator Unit arrested the 
sports editor of the Observer-Reporter Friday as part of an 
ongoing undercover child-sex sting operation.

Thomas J. Rose, 52, of North Franklin Township, was arrested in 
North Huntingdon Township, Westmoreland County. He apparently 
believed he was going to meet a 12-year-old girl whom he 
reportedly met Sept. 9 on a Yahoo chat line.

"Attorney General Tom Corbett has made it a priority of his 
administration to catch child predators before they harm our 
children," said spokesman Kevin Harley.

The unit, which Corbett originally formed during his first stint 
as attorney general, has been expanded since his return to office 
in January. Agents in the unit assume the identity of children and 
visit various chat rooms where child-sex predators are known to 

An undercover agent with the unit was in a Yahoo teen chat room 
when allegedly contacted by Rose, whose Internet name is 
fantasyxox2. According to the criminal complaint, Rose began 
having an online conversation with the agent, whose user name was 

The agent told Rose that her name was Jessica and that she was 12 
years old and in seventh grade when he suggested meeting her, 
according to the criminal complaint. Rose reportedly told her that 
he wanted to meet her but said it would be "risky." Rose continued 
to talk with the girl about the meeting and asked her to wear a 

Rose and the undercover investigator had several online 
conversations between Sept. 12 and 15 in which Rose indicated a 
desire to meet the girl, Corbett said. Rose also used graphic 
sexual language in describing what he wanted to do with the girl, 
the affidavit states.

He suggested several times that the two meet, according to the 
affidavit. He told her "we have to be careful where we go, though" 
and asked her if she would "skip school."

He reportedly contacted her several more times, and they discussed 
what they would do when they were together.

During an online conversation, Rose allegedly agreed to meet the 
girl Friday at a fast-food restaurant in North Huntingdon. When 
Rose arrived for the meeting at McDonald's, he was apprehended by 
agents of the unit and North Huntingdon police, Corbett said.

A search warrant for Rose's vehicle was obtained. Agents said they 
found directions to the meeting place, a box of condoms, a 
personal organizer and a laptop computer.

"I think everyone in the company shares my reaction of shock and 
disappointment," said Park Burroughs, editor of the 
Observer-Reporter. "I feel sick about it.

"Tom has been an employee here for 29 years and sports editor 
since 1981," Burroughs added. "He has been actively involved in 
the sports community and in the entire community for many years."

Burroughs learned of Rose's arrest Friday afternoon in a telephone 
call from a representative of the attorney general's office.

"He called to inform me that Tom would not be at work tonight," 
Burroughs said. "He allowed me to talk with Tom. He seemed upset 
and remorseful."

Burroughs would not comment on Rose's status with the company, 
citing the confidential relationship between the employee and 
employer. Burroughs did say Rose would not be at work in the near 

Rose was arraigned before District Judge Douglas Weimer Jr. on 
charges of criminal attempt, unlawful contact with a minor and 
criminal use of a communication facility. He was placed in 
Westmoreland County Prison on $25,000 bond.

Weimer also ordered a mental-health evaluation and placed Rose on 
a suicide watch. He also has forbidden Rose to have contact with 
children under the age of 18.

A preliminary hearing is set for Friday before Weimer. The case 
will be prosecuted by senior Deputy Attorney General Anthony 
Forray of the Child Predator Unit.

Rose is the 22nd suspect arrested in an undercover child predator 
sting this year.

"Today's arrest is part of an ongoing effort by my office to 
capture child predators before they either harm a child for the 
first time or harm an innocent child again," Corbett said.


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