Anthony Michael John Arlaus of Martinsville is scheduled to have a plea hearing Friday in Bedford County Circuit Court on eight counts that he used a computer to solicit sex with minors.
The first offense carries a range of punishment from 5 to 30 years in prison, and the seven subsequent offenses carry between 10 to 40 years each, Bedford County Commonwealth’s Attorney Wes Nance wrote in an email.
Nance said the allegations date from Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, and, as summarized from a prior bond hearing, Arlaus is alleged to have made multiple sexual solicitations to someone he thought was a child of less than 15 years of age.
Solicitations covered by this statute include requesting that a child expose himself or herself, exposing oneself to the child or proposing that the child engage in sexual activity.
“In fact, it is alleged that he was soliciting an undercover investigator from the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force located in Forest [Bedford County],” Nance wrote.
“The suspect engaged in multiple online communications with someone they knew or had reason to believe was under the age of 18, soliciting sexual acts and sexually explicit images of a minor,” Sgt. S.P. Anders of Bedford County Sheriff’s Office and that task force said in an email.
Arlaus, 32, of Coopers Mountain Road in Martinsville, has been held without bond since his arrest on Feb. 16, Nance said.
Paul Collins is a reporter for the Martinsville Bulletin. Contact him at 276-638-8801, ext. 236.