Police: Amsterdam man tried to rape girls; Scheme involved social media messages sent over week

Michael A. Clark - Credit: Amsterdam Police Department

Michael A. Clark - Credit: Amsterdam Police Department

Photo Caption: Michael A. Clark – Credit: Amsterdam Police Department

AMSTERDAM – An Amsterdam man tried to rape girls in a scheme that involved possession of child pornography and messages sent online, police said.

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He had believed the messages were being sent to an 11-year-old girl and even asked the “girl” to bring her 9- and 5-year-old friends to a designated meeting spot so he could rape them, too, police said.

The scheme, however, was thwarted by members of the public, who were waiting for him at the designated meeting spot and held him for police to arrive, authorities said.

Police arrived and soon arrested the man, identified as Michael A. Clark, 32, of Amsterdam. Clark now faces multiple felony counts including two counts of first-degree attempted criminal sexual act and two counts of first-degree rape, police said.

If convicted on one of the top counts, Clark would face up to 25 years in state prison.

Police were alerted to Clark at about 1:30 Wednesday afternoon, police said.

Officers were called then to the Woodrow Wilson Town Houses on Woodrow Road fro a report of a man who was in possession of child pornography and who was attempting to meet up with underage girls.

The officers arrived to find a group of individuals surrounding a man, whom police recognized as Clark.

The individuals relayed that Clark had been sent numerous messages that were sexual in nature via social media to a person he believed was a girl under the age of 12. They then showed officers several of the messages sent by Clark over the past week, police said.

Police detained Clark and interviewed him at the station. Police then determined that Clark had engaged in conversations via social media with someone he believed to be an 11-year-old girl, police said. 

Clark had also sent numerous photographs and videos of a sexual nature to the person he believed was a child and requested to meet with the girl on Woodrow Road, and for her to bring along her friends, police said.

When he arrived on Woodrow Road, three adults then confronted him and they immediately called police, police said.

Amsterdam Police detectives were assisted by Montgomery County District Attorney Lorraine Diamond.

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