Clymer, PA – An Indiana man was arrested Thursday evening after he was charged with several felony sex offenses involving a male juvenile victim.
51-year-old Stephen Joe Czerniec, Jr. of Indiana was taken into custody without incident and charged with one count of statutory sexual assault, one count of aggravated indecent assault, one count of corruption of minors, and ten counts of sexual abuse of children.
The defendant was lodged in the Indiana County Jail to await his preliminary arraignment.
On June 16, 2019, the Pennsylvania State Police in Indiana’s Criminal Investigation Unit began an investigation into a reported sexual assault. It was reported that an unknown adult male had sexually assaulted a known male juvenile earlier on June 16. Through the course of the investigation, the adult male suspect was identified as Stephen Joe Czerniec, Jr.
Upon conducting interviews, reviewing an electronic device and video surveillance, and serving a search warrant at the defendant’s residence, the investigating officer determined that this incident began when the defendant and the juvenile began communicating with one another through the online dating site/app, Grindr.
The defendant is also alleged to have exchanged nude photographs and text messages with the juvenile through the online site/app KIK, utilizing the screen name Steve Czerniec.
On June 16, while believing that the victim was 15 years old, the defendant is alleged to have driven to Clymer, PA, transported the victim to another location, and then engaged in sexual conduct with him.
On June 20 at 8:35 a.m., the defendant was arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Jennifer Rega and was remanded to Indiana County Jail in lieu of $25,000 monetary bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 3 at 9:!5 at Magisterial District Court 40-3-03.