Man Pleads Guilty to Traveling Across State Lines with Intent to Engage in Sexual Activity with a Minor
|U.S. Attorney’s Office November 16, 2009|
BUFFALO, NY—Mark Miller, 40, of Gowanda, New York, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny, to a felony charge of Interstate Travel with Intent to Engage in Illicit Sexual Conduct, U.S. Attorney Kathleen M. Mehltretter of the Western District of New York announced today. Interstate Travel with Intent to Engage in Illicit Sexual Conduct carries a maximum penalty of 30 years' imprisonment, a fine of $250,000, or both.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Marie P. Grisanti, who handled the case, stated that between December 4, 2008 and March 1, 2009, in the Western District of New York and elsewhere, the defendant communicated with an individual whom he believed was the mother of a 13-year-old girl. During these conversations, the defendant made arrangements to meet the mother and her daughter in New Waterford, Ohio to engage in sexual activity with both of them. On or about February 28, 2009, the defendant traveled from Gowanda, New York, to Erie, Pennsylvania and the following day from Erie, Pennsylvania to New Waterford, Ohio to meet the mother and her 13-year-old daughter for sex.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
The plea was the culmination of an investigation on the part of the New Waterford Police Department in Ohio, the Gowanda Police Department and Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Buffalo Field Office Cyber Squad, under the direction of James H. Robertson, Special Agent in Charge.
Sentencing is scheduled for February 23, 2010 at 9:30 a.m., EST, in Buffalo, N.Y., in front of U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny.