An alleged pornographer from Westwood, Mass., approached teens in Harvard Square before being apprehended by Cambridge police officers Wednesday, three Cambridge teens said yesterday.
The youths said that Ronald Pasqualino, who used the alias Jack Warner, spent time in Harvard Square last Friday soliciting teenage boys.
A source at the Harvard University Police Department confirmed yesterday that Pasqualino was in Cambridge on Friday, September 23.
Pasqualino pleaded innocent Thursday in Cambridge District Court to two counts of posing or exhibiting a child in a state of nudity. He was sent to Bridgewater State Hospital for evaluation.
Simone Nikhoul, 14, of Cambridge, said yesterday that Pasqualino approached him and two other boys in front of Store 24 in the Square last Friday, September 16.
Pasqualino showed the three teenagers "a wad of money" and offered to buy them marijuana and other drugs, Nikhoul said. Pasqualino then invited he teens to lunch at The Tasty in Harvard Square.
Nikhoul said he realized at this point that Pasqualino was a "fraud."
"He gave the other kids his card and was offering them the chance to be in movies," Nikhoul said. "I left and they went off with him."
Cambridge Police Detective Frank Pasquarello said last week that Pasqualino handed boys his "Warner Entertainment Network" business cards, which displayed a replica of the Warner Bros. trademark.
Greg Ferreira, 16, said he saw Pasqualino talking to two boys, and he joined in the conversation.
"He told them, 'Here's my number,' he gave them his card and he said he would bring them someplace for a screening test," said Ferreira.
Ferreira, Nikhoul, and a group of Cambridge youths who saw Pasqualino all described him as short and fat with thinning brown hair, attired in a business suit.
Justin Cruse, 18, said that having someone like Pasqualino wandering around Harvard Square is not uncommon. Cruse said there frequently are pornographers and perverts in the area soliciting youths.
In fact, when being interviewed, Cruse identified a man riding by on a bicycle as a "pervert." A group of teens hollered, "Bye, pervert!" as the man departed the Square.
Wednesday's arrest was not Pasqualino's first. In 1993, he was charged with larceny for allegedly stealing almost $20,000 in unemployment benefits from the state, according to the Boston Globe.
Authorities from around the nation have contacted local police to investigate a possible connection between this case and the murders of dozens of teens who were lured into making pornographic films. Nothing has been confirmed at this point, however.
Many teems in the Square last night said that it annoys them that people such as Pasqualino are hanging around Cambridge. One youth, who requested anonymity, said, "If anyone like him shows his face here again, we'll crash him."
All teenagers questioned also expressed disappointment that homeless teenagers are currently in a position to jump at opportunities such as the ones offered by Pasqualino.
"[Pasqualino] is every teenage boy's fantasy in the sense that he's taking them away and giving them fame and stardom," said Cruse. "It just doesn't happen that way.