States Attorney's Office District of Connecticut
|September 20, 2010||
Project Safe Childhood: PHILADELPHA MAN ARRESTED FOR USING THE INTERNET TO ENTICE A MINOR TO ENGAGE IN ILLICIT SEXUAL ACTIVITY
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Kimberly K. Mertz, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced that JASON BETENSKY, 26, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, formerly of Florida, was arrested today by members of the Connecticut Computer Crimes Task Force on a federal criminal complaint charging BETENSKY with using the internet to entice a minor to engage in illicit sexual activity.
The complaint alleges that, in August 2006, BETENSKY, posing as a 14-year-old girl and using the name “Sarah Mitchell,” used the internet to contact a minor victim, a boy who was 15-years-old at the time. BETENSKY told the victim that they had attended the same camp in North Carolina together. In the following months, BETENSKY and the minor victim engaged in sexually explicit internet and telephone conversations. Eventually, BETENSKY enticed the minor victim to use a web cam to send BETENSKY live sexually explicit videos. In return, BETENSKY sent the minor victim sexually explicit still images of females that never showed a face.
The complaint further alleges that, in October 2007, the minor victim recognized certain inconsistencies in the images that BETENSKY had sent him and indicated to BETENSKY that he wanted to end the relationship. In response, BETENSKY threatened to email sexually explicit videos to all of the minor victim’s friends from camp, and emailed one of the videos to the minor victim.
The complaint further alleges that, BETENSKY used a social networking site to contact the minor victim’s brother and, in April 2008, the victim’s brother began receiving instant messages on his cell phone from BETENSKY. BETENSKY told the victim’s brother to have the victim contact BETENSKY, threatening that if he did not, it would make things worse for the minor victim.
The complaint alleges that BETENSKY knew the minor victim from a camp in North Carolina where BETENSKY had been a camp counselor. It is also alleged that BETENSKY used a voice-altering device when he spoke with the minor victim over the phone while posing as a 14-year-old girl.
BETENSKY surrendered to the Federal Bureau of Investigation today. Following his arrest, BETENSKY appeared before United States Magistrate Judge Joan G. Margolis in New Haven in New Haven. BETENSKY was released into the custody of his parents on a bond in the amount of $75,000.
If convicted of the charge of using the internet to entice a minor to engage in illicit sexual activity, BETENSKY faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years, and a maximum term of imprisonment of life years and a fine of up to $250,000.
U.S. Attorney Fein stressed that a complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Connecticut Computer Crimes Task Force, which includes federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The Jupiter (Fl.) Police Department has assisted the investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Edward Chang.
The Connecticut Computer Crimes Task Force investigates crimes occurring over the Internet, including computer intrusion, Internet fraud, copyright violations, Internet threats and harassment and on-line crimes against children. The Task Force also provides computer forensic review services for participating agencies. The Task Force is housed in the main FBI office in New Haven, Connecticut. For more information about the Task Force, please contact the FBI at 203-777-6311.
U.S. Attorney Fein noted that this prosecution is part of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood Initiative, which is aimed at protecting children from sexual abuse and exploitation. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
To report cases of child exploitation, please visit www.cybertipline.com.
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