195 new sex-related charges for tattoo artist
BRISTOL TWP., Pa. - May 13, 2011 (WPVI) -- Action News has learned that a tattoo artist arrested in March will now face an additional 195 sex-related charges.
34-year-old Walter Meyerle was charged back in March for sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl. He appeared in court Friday for a formal arraignment.
Police tell Action News an additional 16 victims have come forward since the initial charge was filed.
Four of the victims who have now come forward are under 10 years old, including two pre-schoolers. Bucks County District Attorney David Heckler says the new charges were filed Friday.
Authorities say Meyerle talked many of his victims into trading sex for tattoos. Others were allegedly lured with toys and gifts.
"The defendant obviously groomed the young children. He also forcibly raped some of the older children," said Bucks County Assistant D.A. Jennifer Schorn. "He had both male and female victims and it is kind of unimaginable the kind of horror that they endured at the hands of this defendant."
Investigators are calling Meyerle one of the worst sexual predators they've ever seen.
"The only time society will ever be safe with Mr. Meyerle on this planet is if he is in jail," said Bucks County D.A. David Heckler.
"My only hope is that this guy gets five minutes alone with SEAL Team Six," said Bensalem Police Superintendent Fred Harran, referencing the elite military unit that killed Osama bin Laden.
Meyerle is being held on $5 million bail and is facing 1,000 years in prison on the most serious charges.
Yet another new alleged victim came forward to talk with police on Friday. The police are also looking into the possibility that Meyerle may have molested his own two children.
Meyerle had nothing to say as he was led into court on Friday but, during his March arrest, Meyerle claimed innocence.
"There's nothing to back it up. This ain't the first time this family has tried to do some crazy stuff," he told Action News at the time.
Meyerle said he didn't seduce the teen, but police say he is a serial predator with a long track record.
He was charged with seducing the 14-year-old girl with promises that he would give her a tattoo, police said.
Authorities say he had sex with her in his home as his wife slept upstairs.
Investigators say Meyerle intimidated his victims into keeping quiet. Police also say Meyerle gave his alleged victims cell phones so he could keep in touch with them behind their parents' backs.
pennsylvania, child sex assault, sex assault, sex offenders, bucks county, crime
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