WHEELING- The case against a Bridgeport man accused of conspiring to kidnap and sexually assault a young girl may come down to fact versus fantasy, his lawyer claims.
Alex J. Galensky, 32, of 530 Bennett St. remains in the Northern Regional Jail in Moundsville on $100,000 bond.
During a preliminary hearing Friday before Magistrate Joe Roxby, assistant public defender Keith Hart argued Galensky's arrest stemmed from nothing more than a fantasy expressed over an Internet chat. However, Roxby decided there was probable cause to present the case to a grand jury.
During the hearing, State Police Trooper Rob McMahon testified that on May 29 he received a complaint that Galensky and another man admitted in an online chat that both of them liked to have sex with girls between the ages of 4 and 8 and they plotted to kidnap a girl so they could tie her up, duct tape her and sexually assault her in a wooded area near the Wheeling Heritage Trail.
During the chat, according to the report, they both agreed to lure the other man's 8-year-old daughter away from an elderly woman with whom the child had been staying for the past few days in Wheeling.
Prosecutor Scott's Smith laid out the state's case. Hart then pressed McMahon into admitting a search by State Police and city police officers was unable to locate the young girl believed to have been targeted.
McMahon also testified that the other man involved in the chat is the young girl's father and that he also cannot be located.
"Did you search the wooded area to see if she was taped to a tree?" Hart asked.
"No," McMahon replied.
Hart claimed the image of the girl shown on the chat pages may not be the same girl identified in the case.
"This man (who) offered his daughter up to be raped and tortured is still at large?" he said. "Does this child even exist?"
Hart pointed to a page on the printed chat conversation in which the other man said Galensky was fantasizing. He compared it to a conversation in which two people might talk about "robbing Santa Claus."
"This was a fantasy," he said. "There is no evidence to prove otherwise."