Pennsylvania Man Sentenced in Manhattan Federal Court to Six Years in Prison for Taking 14-Year-Old Girl from the Bronx to Pennsylvania to Engage in Sexual Activities
|U.S. Attorney’s Office March 26, 2010|
PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York; JOSEPH M. DEMAREST JR., the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBI"); and RAYMOND W. KELLY, the Police Commissioner for the City of New York ("NYPD") announced that ANDREW JASON PETTITT was sentenced today in Manhattan federal court by Chief United States District Judge LORETTA A. PRESKA to six years in prison on charges of taking a 14-year old girl from the Bronx, New York, to Arnot, Pennsylvania, to engage in sexual activities.
According to the publicly-filed documents in the case and statements made during the guilty plea and sentencing proceedings:
On September 11, 2008, PETTITT drove to the Bronx, New York, to pick up the 14-year old victim (the "Victim") and took her back to Pennsylvania. Later that day, the Victim's grandmother discovered that the Victim was missing from the home they shared, and had left a note stating that she was going to "live on the streets." In search of the Victim, the Victim's grandmother discovered a "MySpace" website in the name of "Luciander" on the computer in their home, and learned that the "Luciander" MySpace page belonged to PETTITT. She informed law enforcement officers, who determined that PETTITT lived in Pennsylvania. After NYPD officers called PETTITT's residence in Pennsylvania, PETTITT, who was with the Victim, fled.
On September 16, 2008, PETTITT and the Victim were discovered living in PETTITT's car in Garrett County, Maryland. PETTITT told law enforcement officers that he had met the Victim while playing a popular online game. PETTITT admitted that he had traveled to New York to pick up the Victim, and that they had engaged in sexual activities, including sexual intercourse. PETTITT also acknowledged that he and the Victim left his home in Pennsylvania after NYPD officers called the residence during their search for the Victim.
PETTITT, pleaded guilty on November 30, 2009, in Manhattan federal court to one count of enticing an individual to travel in interstate commerce to engage in criminal sexual activity, and one count of traveling in interstate commerce for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual activities.
In addition to the prison term of six years, Judge PRESKA sentenced PETTITT, 29, to five years of supervised release.
In addition, PETTITT previously pleaded guilty to Maryland state charges of third degree sexual assault, and was sentenced on December 9, 2008, to a five-year term of imprisonment, all but six months of which was suspended.
Mr. BHARARA praised the investigative work of the FBI and NYPD, and expressed gratitude to the Garrett County, Maryland Sheriff's Office for their assistance in this case.
Assistant United States Attorney AMIE N. ELY is in charge of the prosecution.