Man accused of soliciting nude photos from girls

Suspect posed as lesbian, police say, and traded photos of underage girls

An Altoona man faces 70 felony counts after police say he pretended to be a lesbian to solicit pictures from underage girls.

Dane R. Vicars, 28, of 312 Fourth St., second floor, is accused by Altoona police of having 65 child pornography images on his cellphone along with 10 messages where Vicars allegedly chatted with underage girls while posing as a lesbian, according to the charges filed before Magisterial District Judge Jeffrey Auker.

According to police, the messages, all on the mobile messaging app KIK, involved Vicars, posing as a lesbian, chatting with underage girls and asking them to send him nude photos.

Vicars allegedly would then send those pictures to another underage girl in exchange for her nude photos, which he in turn would share with the next girl.

Police said Vicars also chatted with two child porn collectors and along with trading images of underage girls, he allegedly told one he “was into 11- to 12-year-old” girls and the other that he liked pictures of 12-year-old girls, Altoona police Detective David Dey noted in the charges.

Four videos were also recovered from Vicars’ phone from a chat he had with a 13-year-old girl in which he allegedly had the girl masturbate for the camera and had her send the video.

In 22 other chat messages found on the phone, Vicars allegedly told an underage girl that he had a crush on her for years and wanted to meet up. Police said Vicars also told the girl “he could go to jail if anyone found out about them” and that he told the girl “to delete the messages when they were done,” Dey wrote in the complaint.

Police said the 65 images of child pornography consisted of pre-pubescent girls performing various sex acts, in various states of undress.

Vicar’s attorney, Christian Kerstetter, said at this point he didn’t have more information about the case other than what police allege in the complaint and that he would be looking at the evidence, particularly the search warrant for the phone and what was allegedly found and if it’s actually connected to his client.

“It will be interesting to see the phone forensics,” Kerstetter said.

Vicars remains free on a unsecured $35,000 bond and is scheduled to appear at Central Court for a preliminary hearing on Sept. 6.