Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Lawyers, Liars and Other Virtual Predators.

(LCDR Shawn Gray, pictured in the center of photo) Authorities say Lieutenant Commander Shawn Gray,U S Coast Guard, an attorney and officer with the U.S. Coast Guard Judge Advocate General Corps, drove from his home in Miami to Sarasota recently to meet an 8-year-old girl he had met in a chat room. But when LCDR Gray arrived in Sarasota County, to a house where he thought the child would be home alone, he was instead greeted by Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office deputies who arrested him. "He had hoped to have sex with an 8-year-old girl," Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight said of Gray, who was charged with use of a computer and traveling to seduce, solicit or entice a child to commit sex acts. LCDR Gray is being charged with a second-degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison, said Chief Assistant State Attorney Ed Brodsky. LCDR Gray was one of 31 nabbed in a six-day sting called Operation Intercept, an attempt to protect Manatee and Sarasota counties’ children from online predators, Knight said Monday during a news conference at the sheriff’s office in downtown Sarasota. Two of the 31 arrested were from Miami-Dade County. Besides LCDR Gray, 21-year-old Dalbert Borges of Hialeah was also charged with the same crime. According to a Sarasota County Sheriff's Office probable cause affidavit, between May 7 and May 12, Gray had communicated over the Internet with someone he believed was the parent of an 8-year-old girl. Gray sent numerous emails and chat messages describing sexual acts he wanted to perform on the girl, the affidavit said. On May 12, Gray traveled from Miami to Sarasota to engage in sexual activity with a person he believed to be a minor, the affidavit said. Gray is charged with use of a computer to seduce, solicit or entice a child to commit sexual acts and travel to seduce, solicit or entice a child to commit sexual acts, authorities said. He was released Monday on $100,000 bond and it was unknown whether he has an attorney. All 31 suspects responded to Internet-based ads and engaged in sexually explicit written and verbal conversation, according to a Sarasota Sheriff’s Office press release. What also is disturbing about the sting, in which the sheriff’s office also was able to take the suspect’s vehicles as "tools of their trade," is that this form of predation seems to be able to fool children who are not fooled when someone tries to entice them in person. "This is a different way of doing the stranger danger, and now they are using technology," said Venice Chief of Police Thomas McNulty. "An informed child is a child not likely to be victimized," McNulty added. The suspects all agreed to come to a secret location in Sarasota County with the intent to have sex with a child or children, the sheriff’s office said. "We’re keeping the location secret because we plan to use it again," Knight said. When the suspects arrived, they were met by detectives and placed under arrest. "Predators establish contact with kids through chat rooms, instant messaging and discussion boards," Knight said. "The anonymity of the Internet allows these criminals to seem like caring individuals, but they’re only looking for vulnerable victims. Parents, you have to be your child’s protector and monitor what they are doing online." The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office conducted the operation with the assistance of the Bradenton Police Department, the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, the Sarasota Police Department, Venice Police Department, North Port Police Department, the State Attorney’s Office and other members of the Central Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
LT Jason Frank, U S Coast Guard, a Gaithersburg, Maryland man who repeatedly sneaked into a Stafford County, Virginia teenager's room to have sex with her pleaded guilty to six charges in 2008. Jason F. Frank, 37, was convicted in Stafford Circuit Court to three counts of computer solicitation of a minor, two counts of carnal knowledge and attempted carnal knowledge. He faced a maximum penalty of 55 years in prison. According to evidence presented by prosecutor Lori DiGiosia, Frank met the girl on MySpace a few years ago and communicated with her by phone and text-messaging. LT Frank, a member of the Coast Guard was assigned to the Command Center Coast Guard Headquarters, Washington DC. He is married and has a teenage daughter. He told the Stafford girl that his name was "Eric" and that he was 28 years old. He came to see the girl at her home at least three times, according to the evidence. He entered the home in the middle of the night through her bedroom window. In September and December of 2006, LT Frank and the girl had consensual sex. He told her that he loved her and that she was special to him. They were about to have sex again on August 1, 2007 DiGiosia said, but the girl's mother heard a noise and came downstairs and confronted LT Frank. And this just in from Oakridge, TN on 14 June 2012. The 39-year-old head of a Civil Air Patrol program in Oakridge,TN pleaded guilty to sexual abuse charges. (By Karen McCowan of The Register-Guard) The leader of a Civil Air Patrol cadet program in Oakridge was sentenced Wednesday, 13 June to five years in prison for sexually abusing two female high school students. David Sierakowski, 39, pleaded guilty to two counts of third-degree sexual abuse for fondling the breasts of two girls, one 15 and one 17. The truck driver and U.S. Air Force veteran also pleaded guilty to three counts of first-­degree online corruption of a child. Those charges reflect three separate occasions in which Sierakowski used Facebook instant messaging to solicit the girls to engage in sexual conduct and to arrange physical meetings with them. Lane County Circuit Judge Suzanne Chanti ordered Sierakowski to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. His younger victim, who turned 15 shortly before the April incidents, was a participant in the Civil Air Patrol program and knew him as a family friend and from attending the same church, prosecutor Erik Hasselman told Chanti. The 17-year-old victim did not participate in the program, which Oakridge School District Superintendent Don Kordosky described as a paramilitary extra­curricular activity that focuses on physical fitness as well as on exposing students to aviation, including riding in airplanes, and the Civil Air Patrol’s search and rescue mission. Sierakowski met the older victim when both attended the younger one’s 15th birthday party in March, Hasselman said. The state sought no restitution in the case, in part because Sierakowski has a family, the prosecutor said. “You can imagine, in a small community like this, the emotional impact this has had not only on his wife but also on his children,” Hasselman said. “This has been very tough. The children are not only suffering the absence of their father, but the potential stigma that goes along with the crimes that he committed. This is not a happy day for anybody, by any means, but the victims feel some sense of justice.” Sierakowski told Chanti he was “extremely sorry that I’ve done this.” “I want to get help so that nothing like this happens again and so I can be the husband and father that I should be,” Sierakowski said as his wife sat with their pastor in the courtroom. Chanti urged him to use his prison time to immediately begin working on the underlying issues that led to his crimes. “You’re going to be in the custody of the Department of Corrections for a long time, but the damage you’ve done is lifelong,” the judge said. Not only did he betray his wife, children and the public trust of his Civil Air Patrol position, she said, but he robbed his victims of “their innocence and their right to grow into young women without violation.” Kordosky called Sierakowski’s crimes tragic, and noted that the school district conducted a criminal background check before clearing him to work with students. The superintendent said some parents of the 10 students who took part in the cadet program have expressed interest in “seeing it continue because of its positive impact on many kids despite this disaster.”


ichbinalj said...

Parents should be very careful and vigilant. Set parental controls on your children's computers. This form of predation seems to be able to fool children who are not fooled when someone tries to entice them in person. This is a different way of doing the stranger danger, and now they are using technology. Moreover, these appear to be pillars of society that are the new Predator Perpetrators.

Anonymous said...

You all fall into the media frenzy on these stings. What law enforcement fails to mention is that they use Craigslist ADULT personals to lure people into these things and in many cases the "minor" is presented as days away from being legal. Add in Florida's split age of consent and you can see the issue. So, anybody with half a brain realizes that the "minor" who is posting and advertising for sex is already corrupt. Maybe their parents should be arrested? Oh, they don't exist either. Don't you see law enforcement is making crime out of thin air for political gain? After all wasn't Brodsky up for election last year? Pathetic scum bags. These cops simply are not smart enough to catch the Sandusky types so they make up stories and lure people into their net. It's not black and white like they tell you, trust me.