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Former Assemblyman Chris Ortloff
Former Assemblyman Chris Ortloff

Ortloff allegations cast light on underground criminal community

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Former North Country Assemblyman and state Parole Board member Chris Ortloff remains behind bars this week. He was arrested earlier this month on charges that he attempted to arrange a sexual encounter with two pre-teen girls. News organizations - including North Country Public Radio -- have declined to report the more graphic details. According to court documents filed by federal prosecutors, Ortloff believed that he was part of an underground network of families who offer their own children for sexual abuse. He allegedly met with an undercover officer who was posing as the guardian of two pre-teen girls. "I have known people who successfully maintained this lifestyle for several generations," Ortloff said, according to a transcript contained in federal documents. Brian Mann spoke about the allegations with David Finkelhor, who heads the Crimes against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire. Finkelhor says criminal child-sex rings involving parents do exist and are being targeted by law enforcement.

NOTE: North Country has attempted over the last two weeks to speak with Chris Ortloff's attorney, Andrew Safranko. Safranko hasn't respond to repeated messages.

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