A Newton County teen is safe from a 61-year-old man police are calling a child predator. It’s an investigation dating back to February, but police recently found child pornography.
Martin Friedman — also known as Starmaker Mitch lives in Virginia, but police say he preyed on children far beyond that state’s borders.
“He purported himself to be a 21-year-old fashion model designer who was going to make this girl a star,” said Covington Police Chief Stacey Cotton.
That girl is 13 years old and from the town of Covington. Police say Friedman’s M.O was logging on to any number of popular social networking sites, entering chat rooms where he’d get minors to send him pictures — some containing nudity.
“It makes me sick, it really does,” said parent Lisa Iaccaranio. “It’s just something personal to me. It just keeps me on my toes all of the time, very scary.”
Friedman is now behind bars charged with 19 counts of sexual exploitation of a child. What’s more, police say there are still some 150 other questionable e-mails out there from him.
They want to make sure you know if he was preying on your child.
Police said they want parents to be extra vigilant, and to monitor their children’s computer activity.
“I don’t even think I’d let my kid be on chat rooms and stuff like that until they are old enough to completely know what’s going on,” said parent Breanna Roberts.
If anyone has had any type of contact with Friedman — they are urged to contact police. Friedman is presently being held in Virginia.