Friend Prevents Teen from Being Lured into Sexual Act Leading to Arrest of Rockledge Man

An adult friend prevents a teen from being sexually assaulted and leads to the arrest of a suspect from Rockledge. The Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R. Steele and Abington Township Police Chief Patrick Molloy announced the arrest of Anthony Cheathem, 35, of Rockledge, on charges of Criminal Intent to Commit Involuntary Deviate Sexual Intercourse with a Child Under 16, Statutory Sexual Assault, Unlawful Contact with a Minor, Indecent Assault, Corruption of a Minor, Criminal Use of a Communication Facility and other related charges.

On July 1, 2018, a report was filed with Abington Police regarding an adult male attempting to lure a child over the Internet. The victim, a 15-year-old female, was sent a message on Instagram complimenting her on her photos and including a cell phone number. The girl showed the message to an adult friend, who pretended to be the juvenile and began exchanging messages with the male while clearly stating she was just 15 years old. The defendant’s messages stated he wanted to meet the teenager and became sexual in nature. At that point, the victim’s family contacted police.

Abington Det. Rick Beaghley executed an account takeover of the victim’s Instagram account on July 2, and conversed with the defendant, repeatedly stating that the girl was just 15 years old. The defendant described sexual acts he wanted to perform with the girl and sent a sexually explicit photo to her. Det. Beaghley, posing as the child, arranged a meeting for 3:30 p.m., July 3, 2018, in the parking lot of a fast-food restaurant in Abington Township. At the meet location, the defendant’s car was identified, and police moved in to arrest Cheathem.

Cheathem was arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Richard Welsh, who set bail at $250,000 cash, along with the provisions of no contact with minors and no use of the Internet and social media. The defendant failed to post bail and was remanded to the Montgomery County Correctional Facility. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m., July 16, 2018, before Magisterial District Judge Juanita A. Price.

Source:District Attorney Kevin R. Steele and Abington Township Police Chief Patrick Molloy