BETHLEHEM— Police have arrested a Delmar man in for allegedly possessing and disseminating child pornography.
On Tuesday, Dec. 20, police were alerted that an individual had allegedly sent an image of child pornography to a juvenile in Bethlehem through a social media website, according to a press release. An investigation immediately followed, and police arrested Marvin J. Sontz, 61, of Delmar, who is the owner of Del Lanes Bowling Alley.
Police said that they are working to identify the individual who is featured in the image of the child pornography, but right now, they said, it does not seem like the child in the image is local to the Capital Region.
As of this point, the investigation has not produced any indication of criminal activity occurring at Del Lanes in regards to this case, according to a press release. Sontz was charged with felony counts of disseminating indecent material to minors in the first degree, and possessing a sexual performance by a child, as well as one misdemeanor count of endangering the welfare of a child. He was arraigned in the Town of Bethlehem Court by Judge Andrew Kirby, and remanded to the Albany County Jail in lieu of $25,000 bail.
Sontz is scheduled to appear in the Town of Bethlehem Court on Dec. 23, 2016, at 9 a.m. for a preliminary hearing. This case is being investigated by the Bethlehem Police Department with the assistance of the New York State Police Computer Crimes Unit.
Bethlehem Police are asking that parents speak to their children to determine if other individuals have had inappropriate contact or correspondences with Sontz. Anyone with further information is asked to contact the Bethlehem Police Department at (518) 439-9973.
The Bethlehem Central School District sent out an email to parents on Wednesday, Dec. 21 to address the situation. Sontz was formerly a paid boy’s bowling coach at the district, most recently during the 2014-15 season.
“Sontz was a paid coach of the Bethlehem Central boys’ bowling team for several years, most recently during the 2014-15 season. Sontz is also owner of Del Lanes bowling center, where the district’s bowling teams, both boys and girls, practice and compete. The police department also indicated, in its statement, that they have no evidence to date of any criminal activity taking place at the bowling alley,” read the email. “The district is relocating or rescheduling all scheduled practices and games that were set to take place at Del Lanes as the police continue to investigate this criminal matter. The district is working closely with the Bethlehem Police Department and will continue to do so as this case moves forward. No activities will be scheduled at Del Lanes for the foreseeable future. The safety and well-being of our students is the district’s top priority. Any student who may have had contact or correspondence with Mr. Sontz that made the student feel uncomfortable is encouraged to tell a parent, teacher or other trusted adult immediately. Parents with any information related to this matter are encouraged to contact the Police Department at 518-439-9973. This news may come as a shock to some of our students who have had contact with Mr. Sontz in a coaching capacity or in the community. Students who have questions or want to discuss their concerns are encouraged to speak to their school counselor, school nurse, or building administrator.”