MASSACHUSETTS MAN SENTENCED TO 20 YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON FOR ENTICING GIRLS TO ENGAGE IN SEXUALLY EXPLICIT CONDUCT ON INTERNET THAT HE RECORDED AND DISTRIBUTED
LOS ANGELES – A Massachusetts man who posed as a 17-year-old boy, befriended young girls on the Internet and convinced them perform sex during video chats was sentenced this afternoon to 20 years in federal prison.
Lawrence Joseph Silipigni, 42, of Saugus, Massachusetts, received the 240-month prison sentenced from United States District Judge Otis D. Wright II, who also ordered Silipigni to pay nearly $2,800 in restitution to one teen-age victim.
Last December, Silipigni pleaded guilty to federal charges of producing child pornography and using the Internet to induce a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity.
According to court documents, Silipigni used the identity of a 17-year-old boy he met online to lure girls into relationships. In December 2007 and February 2008, despite being 39 years old at the time, Silipigni pretended to be a 17-year-old boy named “Jamie” and, using this persona, enticed girls to engage in sexually explicit conduct in front of their webcams. Silipigni captured video recordings from the girls’ webcams and, in at least one case, uploaded the child pornography to the Internet.
During today’s sentencing hearing, Judge Wright noted that Silipigni betrayed a then-14-year-old girl he had befriended online, and that the sexually explicit video that Silipigni put on the Internet could possibly be viewed there by friends, acquaintances and other people “forever.”
Judge Wright read an excerpt of a statement this girl had provided for the sentencing: “I’m scared that something bad will happen to me because of this. I’m worried that future employers will know or find out about this and not hire me. I feel like my whole future could be ruined because of what the defendant did.”
Silipigni was arrested by FBI agents in Massachusetts in the fall of 2009. He was brought to Los Angeles to face the criminal charges in this case, and he has remained in custody.
The case against Silipigni was conducted by the SAFE Team (Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement) in Los Angeles, a multi-agency task force that investigates crimes against children. The SAFE Team is made up of agents and officers with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Los Angeles Police Department, the California Highway Patrol and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. The mission of the SAFE Team is to investigate and prosecute violations of federal and state laws relative to the sexual exploitation of minors.
Release No. 11-084
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