MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Pa. - A pair of local men have been arrested in the last two weeks in Montgomery County in separate incidents after undercover operations arranged by local police and prosecutors caught them attempting to arrange a child-sex tryst (in one case) and distributing child pornography (in the other.)
Charles L. Cohen, 69, was arrested on charges of Criminal Attempt of Involuntary Deviant Sexual Intercourse with a child under 16, Unlawful Contact with a Minor and Criminal Use of a Communication Facility. Cohen’s arrest was announced by Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman and Lower Merion Township Police Chief Mark Toomey.
The arrest came after Detective Sergeant Raymond Bechtel III of the Upper Providence Township Police Department engaged in an undercover electronic communication exchange with Cohen, who prosecutors say was arrested after he attempted to arrange a meeting with someone he believed was a 14-year-old boy.
Cohen, according to Philadelphia magazine, is a prominent jazz musician.
In a separate case, Aric Douglas Johnson, 30, of Upper Moreland Township, was arrested and charged with three counts of Distribution of Child Pornography, 100 counts of Possession of Child Pornography and three counts of Criminal Use of a Communication Facility.
Richard Beaghley, an Abington Township Police Department Detective, engaged in communications with Johnson and received three movie files containing child pornography. A subsequent search warrant, the DA's office said, found over 18,625 images and 55 videos in Johnson’s possession.
Cohen was arrested September 28 and charged with the three crimes; bail was set at $100,000. He was remanded to the Montgomery County Correctional Facility and his preliminary hearing is scheduled for October 13.
Johnson was arrested October 8 and bail was set at $10,000, unsecured. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for October 20.
Both Detectives, Bechtel and Beaghley, are deputized as Special Montgomery County Detectives by the district attorney, the office said.