MOUNT HOLLY, N.J. (WTXF/AP) - Authorities say a young South Jersey man pretended to be a male fitness model on social media and convinced a 13-year-old Texas girl to send him "numerous" nude photos of herself.
Burlington County prosecutors say 19-year-old Anthony Merletto of Pemberton is charged with possession of child pornography and two counts of child endangerment, and he's being held without bail. Sunday, it wasn't known if he retained a lawyer.
The investigation of Merletto started last September when Facebook alerted county authorities about an account that had been flagged for possibly receiving child porn.
According to the prosecutor's office, "The investigation revealed that Merletto created a fictitious Facebook profile indicating he was a male fitness model. He then engaged several other users in sexually explicit conversations. One of those users was a 13-year-old girl from Texas who was convinced by Merletto to send numerous nude photos of herself."
Earlier this month, authorities executed a search warrant at Merlotto's home and seized his cell phone, which allegedly contained numerous child porn images and videos.