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US Attorney: Man lured Park Slope girl to Texas as part of child-porn scheme

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A teenage girl reported missing from her Park Slope home in September left the borough in the company of an out-of-state man who met her online, and convinced the 15-year-old to move to his Texas motorhome as part of a sickening child-pornography scheme, according to a source familiar with the incident.

The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Richard Donoghue on Thursday unsealed a federal criminal complaint charging the 48-year-old defendant with transporting a minor across state lines to engage in illegal sexual activity, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison, according to John Marzulli, a spokesman for Donoghue.

The man began his online relationship with the teen in August, repeatedly discussing his desire to have sex with her, and telling her to send him naked pictures of herself, according to Marzulli.

She ultimately agreed to join him in Texas, and he purchased an interstate bus ticket for the girl, only to discover she was too young to travel without an adult, the spokesman said.

The defendant then rented a car and, after telling the victim to “make sure you are packed and ready to go,” picked her up near her Brooklyn home before driving her back to Texas, Marzulli said.

Investigators traced the girl to the man’s home in a trailer park using an account she created for an adult website, and a Sept. 14 e-mail she sent to her mother saying she wanted to go home, according to complaint documents.

Officers with Texas’s Limestone County Sheriff’s Department found the defendant while canvassing the trailer park on Sept. 15, and he admitted the girl was in his trailer, the documents show.

Investigators later obtained a search warrant authorizing the Federal Bureau of Investigation to access the defendant’s electronic devices, where they found sexually explicit images of the teen, according to the documents.

The defendant, whom Texas authorities arrested in September, is in the process of being extradited to Brooklyn for prosecution, according to Marzulli.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Posted 12:00 am, December 7, 2018
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