Police: Man tried to lure girl into prostitution

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CHARLEROI – A Westmoreland County man has been charged by police in Charleroi with using Facebook in attempts to lure a 15-year-old girl into prostitution.


Charleroi Regional police claim they also found text messages to the girl’s cellphone from Michael Joseph Bober, 34, of East Vandergrift, indicating he would pay her $500 for sex, court records state.


Instead, the girl went to police and said Bober was supposed to meet her late Thursday in the 400 block of McKean Ave., and that he would be driving a Mercedes-Benz.


Police said officers watched the 400 block of McKean from an unmarked car and noticed Bober circle the area five times in his vehicle before they pulled him over about 12:30 a.m. Friday at Sixth Street and Fallowfield Avenue. The Charleroi girl said she recognized him in his vehicle from his Facebook posts.


Bober initially was placed in Washington County jail for a probation violation before being arraigned Friday morning before District Judge Larry Hopkins on charges of encouraging prostitution, unlawful contact with a minor, criminal use of a communications facility, corruption of a minor, driving under the influence of alcohol and driving with a suspended or revoked license. He is serving probation in a DUI case in which he pleaded guilty in October in Allegheny County Court, documents state.


Hopkins returned Bober to jail, setting his bond at $250,000.


State police were planning to obtain a warrant to search Bober’s 2378 Quay St. residence as the investigation continued Friday, a court official said.


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