Monessen man sentenced for traveling to West Virginia to engage in sex act with minor

A Monessen man was sentenced to 97 months in federal prison Monday for traveling across state lines to engage in sex with a minor.

Mark Sassak Jr., 38, started talking with someone whom he believed to be a 15-year-old female through a social media app, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Conversations continued through text messages for several weeks, when Sassak asked to meet and have sex. Sassak drove from his home to Bridgeport, West Virginia, in October 2020 to meet, and law enforcement arrested him, according to the report. Officers found multiple chats with suspected minors and child pornographic videos on his cellphone.

Sassak was found guilty of one count of traveling to engage in sexual activity with a minor and one count of possession of child pornography during a trial in Dec. 2021.