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Suspended Centre County Gazette managing editor again arrested for alleged sexual messages to a minor

Mugshot of Christopher Morelli provided by the Centre County Correctional Facility.
Centre County Correctional Facility
Mugshot of Christopher Morelli provided by the Centre County Correctional Facility.

A Centre County journalist is back in jail for allegedly soliciting a minor for sex, less than two weeks after he was arrested for soliciting an undercover FBI agent posing as a 14-year-old. The new charges stem from a woman who came forward after hearing about that investigation.

Christopher Z. Morelli, the suspended managing editor of the Centre County Gazette, was originally arrested on Dec. 20. He was released from the Centre County Correctional Facility after posting a $250,000 bail.

Morelli was arrested again Friday morning with bail denied for community safety.

The alleged victim, whose name is not being shared, said she met Morelli through her youth soccer team in 2011. She told Spring Township police she was 14 at the time, and Morelli was one of the coaches.

The woman said Morelli invited her and a friend to go swimming at his house and have alcohol. Afterward, she said he sent repeated inappropriate messages on Facebook and tried to meet for sex.

Morelli is facing two new felony charges for solicitation to commit the crime of statutory sexual assault and corruption of minors.

The Centre County Gazette said Morelli is on indefinite suspension pending further information from the police. The Gazette posted an ad Thursday saying it is hiring a managing editor.

Centre County District Attorney Bernie Cantorna is asking that anyone with additional information about Christopher Morelli contact Detective Luke Nelson of the Spring Township Police Department at 814-355-5134.

The Centre County Gazette is a financial supporter of WPSU. 

Sydney Roach is a reporter and host for WPSU with a passion for radio and community stories.