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A newspaper reporter has been charged with trying to arrange a sexual encounter via the Internet with an undercover police officer posing as a 13-year-old girl. Steve Sembrat, a sports reporter for the Times Leader, was arrested Sunday in Springfield Township outside Philadelphia, where he had gone to meet the girl, who turned out to be a detective with Delaware County’s Internet sex crimes unit, authorities said. Police found a digital camera, condoms, ropes and duct tape in Sembrat’s car, and he admitted he was going to use them on the teenager, police said. Sembrat, 48, has worked at the Times Leader since 1987. He recently moved from the sports department to a health beat. “I am shocked and saddened that a long career of a prolific writer appears to be coming to an end,” Pat McHugh, president and publisher of the Times Leader, said in a statement. He said the paper plans to fire Sembrat. Sembrat, being held in lieu of $250,000 bail, called the Times Leader on Monday and said he plans to admit to the allegations, the newspaper said. Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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