Northeast Times

Karate instructor is charged with producing child porn

Start­Frag­ment

Fed­er­al agents ar­res­ted a Fox Chase man last week al­leging that he pro­duced child por­no­graphy in­volving a pre-school-age girl in 2009.

Steven Mazer, 25, of the 300 block of Hoffnagle St., re­mains in the cus­tody of U.S. mar­shals without bail.

Ac­cord­ing to a com­plaint filed in U.S. Dis­trict Court, Mazer on Aug. 27, 2009, co­erced a girl between the ages of 4 and 6 to en­gage in “sexu­ally ex­pli­cit con­duct” for the pur­pose of pro­du­cing visu­al im­ages of her. The char­ging doc­u­ment did not spe­cify the nature of the sexu­al con­duct or of the im­ages pro­duced of the vic­tim.

Wil­li­am S. Walk­er, the as­sist­ant spe­cial agent-in-charge of Home­land Se­cur­ity In­vest­ig­a­tions in Phil­adelphia, said that agents in­vest­ig­ated Mazer for six months to a year, then moved “rap­idly” to ar­rest him when they were able to identi­fy a spe­cif­ic vic­tim.

Walk­er did not dis­close in­form­a­tion about the “in­vest­ig­at­ive lead” that ini­tially drew his of­fice’s at­ten­tion to Mazer or how Mazer al­legedly made ini­tial con­tact with the vic­tim.

A news re­lease from the U.S. At­tor­ney’s Of­fice iden­ti­fied Mazer as a “kar­ate” in­struct­or at a “school in the Bustleton sec­tion of Phil­adelphia which of­fers classes to chil­dren.” The fed­er­al pro­sec­utor’s of­fice did not dis­close the name or loc­a­tion of the school.

Walk­er said that in­vest­ig­at­ors have no evid­ence that the vic­tim met Mazer through his as­so­ci­ation with the school or mar­tial arts in gen­er­al. Walk­er de­scribed Mazer as a stu­dent and vo­lun­teer at the school, not an em­ploy­ee.

Yet, au­thor­it­ies re­cog­nize that there may be oth­er vic­tims and ask that any­one with in­form­a­tion about Mazer or child ex­ploit­a­tion call the hot­line 215-717-4987.

Home­land Se­cur­ity In­vest­ig­a­tions is a di­vi­sion of U.S. Im­mig­ra­tion and Cus­toms En­force­ment, which con­ducts Op­er­a­tion Pred­at­or to in­vest­ig­ate child sexu­al ab­use and re­lated crimes.

Mazer was charged fed­er­ally be­cause his al­leged crime in­volved in­ter­state or for­eign com­merce. A tri­al date has not been set. ••End­Frag­ment 

You can reach at wkenny@bsmphilly.com.

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