A Worcester man who co-owned an East Norriton restaurant admitted to having indecent contact with an underage boy at the eatery and now awaits his fate from a judge.

Abraham “Avi” Michele Maman, 29, of the 2000 block of Berks Road, pleaded guilty in Montgomery County Court to charges of unlawful contact or communication with a minor, corruption of minors, indecent assault forcible compulsion and videotaping a child under 18 while engaging in a prohibited sexual act in connection with incidents that occurred between May and December 2018.

Maman was a proprietor of Roots restaurant at 148 W. Germantown Pike in East Norriton, according to court papers.

Judge Wendy G. Rothstein deferred sentencing until later this year so that court officials can complete a background investigation report about Maman, who will undergo drug, alcohol and psychosexual evaluations. Maman remains in the county jail while awaiting sentencing, unable to post the $500,000 bail lodged against him.

Maman, who is represented by defense lawyer Timothy Woodward, faces a possible maximum sentence of 26-to-52-years in prison on the charges. However, state sentencing guidelines could allow for a lesser sentence.

Assistant District Attorney Bridget Gallagher vowed to seek a lengthy prison term against Maman, alleging he preyed on an individual who trusted him.

“He was able to hold himself out to the public to be a respectable community-focused business owner. Behind closed doors he’s used that trust to benefit his own deviate sexual fantasies,” Gallagher argued.

Gallagher praised the victim for having the courage to report the abuse.

“Because of the courage the victim displayed in reporting this abuse, the defendant hopefully won’t be able to hurt anyone else this way ever again,” Gallagher said.

Regardless the sentence that Maman eventually receives, he faces a lifetime requirement to report his address to state police in order to comply with Pennsylvania’s Sexual Offender Registration and Notification Act.

An investigation of Maman began in December 2018 when the underage boy and his parents contacted East Norriton police to report that Maman had inappropriate sexual contact with the boy on numerous occasions since May 2018, according to a criminal complaint.

“The abuse mostly took place at this location,” East Norriton Detective Michael Henricks alleged in the arrest affidavit, referring to the restaurant.

The victim told detectives that on more than one occasion, Maman brought him into the restaurant's office and touched him inappropriately. The victim reported he told Maman he was uncomfortable with his advances and told him to stop.

“At one point defendant told the victim he (Maman) had a problem,” alleged Henricks, adding Maman told the boy “he was gay and since he was a business owner in the community he did not want people knowing.”

The victim also described other incidents during which Maman touched or tried to touch him inappropriately, detectives alleged. Maman also allegedly offered to pay the boy money if he allowed Maman to perform a sex act on him, according to court documents.

Maman, according to the criminal complaint, also showed the victim videos of him performing oral sex on another male.

“Defendant further told the victim he was helping prepare for when the victim was with a female, so the victim would know what to expect,” Henricks alleged.

During the investigation, detectives seized a digital video recorder surveillance system from the restaurant and examined its contents, according to the arrest affidavit.

Detectives subsequently uncovered recorded events depicting Maman touching the victim in an inappropriate manner, according to the criminal complaint.

Other charges, including statutory sexual assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, child endangerment and possessing child pornography, are slated to be dismissed against Maman at time of sentencing in exchange for his guilty plea to the other charges.

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