Police say man tried to lure teen for sex

A Warren man is accused of arranging a meeting with someone he thought was a 14-year-old girl for sex.

According to Youngsville Borough Police, Joshua E. Murray, 27, of 7 Jackson Ave. sent a text message to a Youngsville woman, apparently choosing her phone number at random, and began asking personal questions.

The victim responded that she was female and 14 years old, Chief Todd Mineweaser said. After Murray allegedly asked more questions, the victim contacted police.

Police said the woman subsequently received obscene text messages and photos and the contact went on from Feb. 19 through 22.

Murray was taken into custody at 6:15 p.m. Friday, Feb. 22, at a motel in North Warren where police said he believed he would meet the girl for sex. Youngsville police were assisted by Conewango Township police at the scene.

Murray is charged with criminal attempt statutory sexual assault, criminal attempt involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, criminal attempt indecent assault with a person less than 16, criminal attempt unlawful contact with a minor – explicit sexual material, criminal use of a communication facility, indecent exposure, corruption of minors, and unlawful contact with a minor – explicit sexual material.

Police said Murray was arraigned before District Justice Laura Bauer and taken to Warren County jail on $75,000 bail.

“We had a second victim come forward at the same time,” Mineweaser said. Although the questions did not lead to any arrangements with that victim, “we know for sure he was texting more than one victim.”

“This is a good catch,” Mineweaser said.