• Attorneys for alleged traveling child predators refute claims


    PITTSBURGH - Two traveling child predators who were arrested last month after an undercover investigation by the office of the attorney general’s Child Predator Section faced a judge Monday.

    In both cases, detectives said the men traveled to McKeesport to meet, who they thought was a 14-year-old girl for sex.

    Jeffrey Marks, 62, of Washington County, and Brian Zimmer, 37, of West Homestead, are both facing several charges.

    Zimmer denied the allegations Monday, saying, “I didn’t go after a girl.”

    A relative of his also wasn’t pleased to see a Channel 11 News crew at the hearing.

    “Turn it off,” the relative said to our photographer.

    While prosecutors argued it’s clear Zimmer thought he was talking to a 14-year-old girl, his attorney, Pat Thomassey, disagreed.

    “I’m not so sure my client really knew how old the person really was. In the criminal complaint, it’s not clear to me,” Thomassey said.

    Marks’ attorney questioned the evidence, and called the commonwealth’s case weak.

    “I mean, we are prosecuting people for what their fantasies are. We can’t build enough jails for that, can we?” Jeff Weinberg said.

    Marks and Zimmer both waived their cases to court on Monday. The magistrate cut their bond in half from $100,000 to $50,000.


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