Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Hampstead man arrested for online solicitation of 14-year-old girl, authorities seek info

Michael Richard Martorelli was arrested for soliciting a child by computer and disseminating obscene material to a minor. (Port City Daily photo/Courtesy Pender County Sheriff’s Office)

PENDER COUNTY — Pender County detectives arrested a 21-year-old Hampstead man for the online soliciting of a 14-year-old girl and disseminating obscene material to a minor.

Michael Richard Martorelli was arrested at his residence on Tuesday, according to the Pender County Sheriff’s Office. He was charged with the following offenses:

  • One felony count Solicit a Child by Computer
  • One felony count Indecent Liberties with a Child
  • One felony count Disseminate Obscene Material to a Minor
  • One misdemeanor count Photographing Self or Preparing an Obscene Image
  • 10 misdemeanor counts of Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor

“This arrest was the culmination of an investigation in which Martorelli is accused of an inappropriate relationship with a 14-year old female,” according to the PCSO.

Martorelli was given a secured bond of $55,000 and is currently being held in the Pender County Jail. His is scheduled to make his first court appearance Wednesday.

The PCSO is requesting public assistance with the investigation, and anyone who has information pertaining to Martorelli and the charges against him is asked to contact Detective-Sergeant Steve Clinard at (910) 259-1437.

“The sheriff’s office continues to implore parents and guardians to monitor their children’s online activities. Access to the internet via electronic devices and their links to several social media sites provides opportunities to online sexual predators. It is important that parents and guardians familiarize themselves with these devices and sites and strictly use parental controls to prevent illegal and improper contacts,” according to the PCSO.

The PCSO said it offers training and lectures on the steps required to help safeguard children.


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