41-year-old Joseph Burkett of Sound Beach, New York was arrested on Thursday on charges of molesting 5 boys.
The police investigation began several weeks ago when officers received an anonymous tip “that an adult male may have a MySpace page and (may) be looking for young boys to sexually exploit,” said Suffolk County Police Detective Sgt. John Cowie.
Cowie said MySpace had no involvement in the investigation, nor culpability in the case. “That’s just where he (Burkett) went shopping for victims, so to speak.”
On Tuesday, a police officer spotted a car in front of a Sound Beach house that matched a description given by the tipster. He went to the door, found Burkett living there and noticed two 12-year-old boys in the house, authorities said.
“We still didn’t have a crime at that point,” Cowie said.
On Wednesday, police returned with a search warrant, and seized Burkett’s computer and a digital camera.
On Thursday, after images of children being sexually exploited allegedly were found, Burkett was arrested.
Cowie said that five victims have been identified; one of the boys was from the Binghamton area in upstate New York and met Burkett via MySpace.
He said some of the boys were given bicycles, toys and other gifts to keep quiet.
Of course Burkett pleaded not guilty. I would love to hear the defense on this one. He’s being held on $500K bail.