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Westmoreland County man found guilty of soliciting minor

A Westmoreland County man was found guilty Tuesday, March 7, of soliciting a minor female, who was an adult undercover agent for the state Attorney General’s Office, for sex in 2021 in Cranberry Township.

A Butler County Common Pleas Court jury found Mark Garris, 47, of Derry, guilty of felony charges of unlawful contact with a minor, criminal use of a communication facility and attempt to commit involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a person under 16 years old.

The jury of five women and seven men deliberated for a little more than an hour before rendering a verdict at 4 p.m. The trial started Monday.

Judge Kelley Streib allowed Garris to remain free on $10,000 unsecured bail until his sentencing hearing, which was not scheduled.

The Attorney General’s Office arrested Garris after he exchanged text messages with the fictitious girl beginning Oct. 22 and then traveled to Butler County to meet her Nov. 4.

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