Trial to start for ex-tattoo parlor owner on child-sex charges

Jury selection is scheduled to begin this morning for Walter Meyerle, the former owner of a Falls Township tattoo parlor owner charged with 210 crimes, most of them felony sexual assaults, against 14 children.

Meyerle, 35,  may waive his right to a jury trial in Bucks County Court in Doylestown.

He faces charges of rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, unlawful contact with minors, aggravated indecent assault, sexual assault, and statutory sexual assault, all felonies. He also faces dozens of misdemeanor charges.

Prosecutors claim the attacks occurred over a 10-year period, involving victims ranging in age from 4 to 17. Two were boys. At least one girl said she had become pregnant and had an abortion.

Allegations against Meyerle were first reported to police as far back as 2003, court records show, yet no arrests were made.

Meyerle also faces charges of trying to escape from the county prison and of possessing child pornography. He has been in prison since March 2011, when he was charged with the alleged rape of a 14-year-old girl.

After that case, 13 other children came forward, resulting in 195 charges.