CANTON — A referral by Bradford County Children and Youth Services to Pennsylvania State Police regarding allegations that a 16-year-old girl was having sexual relations with a 26-year-old man led to Tuesday’s arrest of a Canton Borough police officer on sexual assault charges.
Joshua Robert Gleco, of Montoursville, is currently incarcerated in the Bradford County Correctional Facility in lieu of $200,000 bail after he was taken into custody.
Gleco is facing charges of three counts of interception, disclosure or use of wire, electronic or oral communication, a third-degree felony; four counts of sexual abuse of children, which is a third-degree felony; and one count of corruption of minors, which is a first-degree misdemeanor.
State troopers began their investigation into the allegations against Gleco in May of last year, police said.
On May 30, 2018, troopers interviewed the victim, who denied having any kind of sexual relationship with Gleco, police said.
A search through the victim’s cell phone showed that its content had been deleted, police said.
On June 7, 2018, troopers received a warrant to seize and search through Gleco’s cell phone, police said.
Two weeks later, troopers interviewed Gleco, who told them that he had met the victim during his duties as an officer with the Canton Borough Police Department, police said.
During that interview, Gleco denied having any kind of sexual contact with the victim, telling troopers that he “was fulfilling an ‘older brother’ role” with the victim, police stated.
On Aug. 1, 2018, troopers obtained a warrant for two Gmail accounts owned by Gleco, police said.
The investigation then slowed until Jan. 2 of this year when troopers were contacted by a digital forensic examiner, who discovered photos of Gleco and the victim on Gleco’s cell phone, police said.
Among the items found on the cell phone were photos of Gleco and victim kissing, dozens of recorded phone calls that Gleco had recorded using an application called “all call recorder,” and six images that were suspected child pornography, police said.
The next day, troopers obtained a warrant to broaden the scope of their investigation to encompass wiretap violations and child pornography, police said.
The state police’s computer crimes unit then supplied troopers with the content from Gleco’s cell phone, which includes hundreds of deleted messages, text messages, Snapchat messages, recorded phone conversations and the aforementioned six images, police said.
Police stated that Gleco had recorded phone conversations with local businesses, agencies, offices as well as numerous citizens “who appear to have no reason to believe they are being recorded.”
“As no point (during the conservations) is (Gleco) heard telling anyone they are being recorded, nor is there an audible beep on his phone line notifying people” that they are being recorded, police said.
One of the individuals who was recorded without their knowledge was a caseworker with Bradford County Children and Youth Services, police said, noting that the recording occurred on June 1, 2018.
Two employees at the Blaise Alexander Auto Dealerships were also identified as being “illegally recorded” by Gleco, police said.
“More victims will be identified as this case progresses,” police said.
Gleco also recorded numerous phone conversations between himself and the victim, with several of the conversations being those of a sexual nature, police said.
Gleco is scheduled to appear before Magisterial District Judge Jonathan Wilcox of Troy for a preliminary hearing on Feb. 6.
No attorney is listed as representing Gleco at this time, according to court records.