A 26-year-old Helena man is accused of paying underage girls to send him sexually explicit images and videos.
Joshua Dean Fish is charged with two counts of felony sexual abuse of children and was issued a bond of $50,000 in Lewis and Clark Justice Court on Tuesday. Fish was arrested following Montana and Arizona authorities serving a search warrant at an address in Gilbert, Arizona, where he was residing in June.
Court documents identify Fish as a Helena resident.
Investigators allege that the parents of a 14-year-old Helena girl became suspicious after she made a large purchase despite having no income. They searched her phone, discovering financial transactions made under PayPal as well as communications with another similarly aged girl that “Grant D. Holman” paid the money into the account.
The girls told authorities that “Holman,” later alleged to be Fish, used the payment service to pay each of them for sexually explicit photographs and videos, according to court documents.
Investigators believe Fish communicated with the girls via the social media app Snapchat and that he initially contacted the second underage girl through Instagram.
Authorities say they identified Fish as a suspect based on his IP address from Arizona and Facebook photos, which one of the victims identified as him.
Investigators allege that upon service of the search warrant, Fish admitted to paying the two underage girls from Helena for sexually oriented photos and videos. Authorities further allege that he admitted to receiving numerous other sexually explicit photos and videos from girls ranging from 12 to 16 years old, according to court documents.
All suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty.
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