Child porn suspect back in Blair

A woman whose boyfriend is accused of trying to start a child pornography and teenage prostitution ring is back in Blair County to face charges.

Kara S. Tornatore, 28, was extradited from Florida, a process she unsuccessfully fought, after she was charged July 31 with multiple child pornography and sex crimes stemming from her alleged involvement with Stephen Apostolu’s efforts to make child pornography with teenage girls.

Magisterial District Judge Ben Jones set bail for Tornatore at a total of $500,000 cash — $250,000 for each of the two cases charged by Altoona police and state police.

Apostolu is awaiting trial in Blair County Prison in lieu of $600,000 cash bail after Judge Jones found enough evidence to send the case to court on Aug. 31.

Investigators allege that among photos and a video recovered from seized electronic media storage devices Apostolu allegedly carried with him in a bag wherever he went, 15 pictures and a video depicted a 16-year-old girl. Police allege Tornatore is depicted posing naked in sexual poses with the girl.

Investigators also talked to another girl, who was 15 at the time, that Tornatore and Apostolu gave alcohol to last December in an attempt to get the girl to pose for photographs.

Another 15-year-old girl told police Tornatore told the girl she wasn’t leaving the couple’s house until she got photographs of the girl in lingerie when the girl was at the couple’s home late last year. The girl told investigators that Tornatore took photographs of her in two different outfits.

The girl also said Tornatore tried to get her to smoke methamphetamine, offered her money if the girl would let Tornatore take photos and also asked the girl to have sex with Apostolu, who was not home, but was on his way back from work at the time.

The girl also alleged Apostolu talked of having sex with underage girls and on another occasion, the couple tried unsuccessfully to get the girl to watch them have sex.

Tornatore initially talked to police on June 4 as Altoona police Detective Cpl. Terry Merritts investigated a robbery in which Apostolu was a suspect, according to police. After Apostolu was taken into custody that day, Tornatore left Blair County for her native Florida, police said.

Before she left the area, Tornatore told police she wanted to report something “terrible” and admitted she had known Apostolu had an addiction to child pornography and had told her he wanted to get help for it but was afraid of being arrested. It was Tornatore who also told Altoona police Apostolu carried with him a bag of flash drives, hard drives and other electronic media storage that contained

child pornography.

Tornatore also pointed police to 35-year-old Angela Meadows, a resident of Logan Hills apartments, who Apostolu gave methamphetamine and offered money in attempts to get Meadows to allow him to photograph her daughters, ages 9 and 13. Meadows, who is charged along with 33-year-old Joshua Dickson on dozens of child endangerment charges related to their alleged use of methamphetamine while they let their respective children supervise each other, told police she refused Apostolu’s requests.

Dickson and Meadows are both remain in jail and are slated to appear at Central Court on Wednesday for preliminary hearings on their charges, which were refiled late last month.

Another woman connected to Apostolu, Logan Hills resident Amy Brosch, has already waived her charges on to Blair County Court. Brosch, 35, is accused of introducing Apostolu to a 17-year-old girl he shot a sexually explicit video with and then tried to persuade to become a prostitute because she was young and would be worth more money.

Tornatore is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Oct. 3.

Mirror Staff Writer Greg Bock is at 946-7458.

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