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Harrisburg man charged with raping 6-year-old victim while another man recorded

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Ira S. Task, 61, of Harrisburg, is facing charges that include rape of a child. He was charged Wednesday, and his charges are connected to charges filed against a Carlisle man accused of raping the same victim, and video-recording Task. (Cumberland County Prison.)
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Recorded Child Rape Charges FilesCumberland County District Attorney David Freed discusses the charges filed Wednesday against Ira Task, who is accused of child rape. Police say the incident was video recorded.

An HIV-positive Harrisburg man charged with raping a child, whose case police say is connected with a Carlisle man charged with video recording the incident and putting it on the Internet, is facing criminal charges in Cumberland County.

Charges that include rape of a child were filed Wednesday against Ira S. Task, 61.

The investigation began locally when North Middleton Township Police Detective Matthew Johnson and Detective Ryan Parthemore of the Cumberland County District Attorney's Office of Criminal Investigation Division were contacted by the Department of Homeland Security regarding an ongoing child-exploitation investigation.

According to charging documents filed on Wednesday, the investigation unfolded like this:

Federal investigators told local authorities of a live-streamed rape of a 6-year-old over a video-conferencing website that occurred on July 22. The man in the video, who investigators identified as William C. Byers Augusta, 19, was having sexual contact with the victim. 

The investigation led police to a North Middleton Township home where they found a laptop in Byers-Augusta's bedroom. The laptop revealed numerous videos and photographs of child pornography.

The following day, a search warrant was executed on another North Middleton Township home where numerous computers and phones were seized.

When the victim was interviewed by the Children's Resource Center in Harrisburg, he said he was raped by Byers-Augusta.

As police investigated a phone found at the second home, they found a video, from April, of two adult males raping the 6-year-old victim. They were taken from the vantage point of Byers-Augusta, and were shot in a way as to crop out the faces of the perpetrators.

Police, however, saw numerous identifying markers on the second man, such as a gold ring on one finger, more than 20 moles on his right thigh, and a ring around the base of his penis.

That man, whom police identified as Task, was seen in the video administering an inhalant to the victim, as well.

Skype information found on one of the computers in the second home linked investigators to Task, and police found numerous text messages exchanged between Task and Byers-Augusta, referencing photographs and sexual encounters.

On Tuesday, police executed a search warrant on the Harrisburg home of Task, who had many of the identifying characteristics depicted in the April video. A search of his electronic devices also revealed communications with Byers Augusta setting up plans for the rape of a minor.  

Task admitted to his role, and told police he has been HIV positive since 1994.

Task is facing charges of rape of a child, conspiracy, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person, filming sex acts with a child, disseminating photos of sex acts with a child, criminal solicitation, child pornography, criminal use of a communication facility and corruption of minors.

He was arraigned Wednesday morning, and is set for a preliminary hearing Nov. 2.

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