Project Safe Childhood:
SEX OFFENDER PLEADS GUILTY TO FEDERAL
CHILD PORNOGRAPHY, INTERNET ENTICEMENT CHARGES
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that WILLIAM SCOTT VAN WYK, 35, last residing in Hartford, waived his right to indictment and pleaded guilty today before United States District Judge Christopher F. Droney in Hartford to one count of receipt of child pornography and one count of using the Internet to attempt to persuade a minor to engage in sexual activity.
“This defendant, previously convicted for attempted child molestation, tricked a 13-year-old into engaging in sexually explicit conduct during Internet video web chats,” stated U.S. Attorney Fein. “He also possessed hundreds of images and videos of child pornography. The federal penalties for repeat sex offenders are appropriately severe, and I want to commend the FBI, the Hartford Police Department, the Milford Police Department, and all members of the Connecticut Computer Crimes Task Force for their efforts in bringing this defendant, and others who exploit children, to justice.”
According to court documents and statements made in court, on February 12, 2000, VAN WYK was convicted in the State of Arizona for attempted child molestation, and he was incarcerated on that conviction until February 2007.
On June 9, 2009, the Hartford Police Department’s Sex Offender Registry Unit conducted a warrant sweep targeting sex offenders who had active arrest warrants. VAN WYK had been identified as a target of the sweep based on his prior Arizona state conviction, the belief that he was currently residing in Connecticut, and his failure to verify his current address with the Connecticut Public Safety Sex Offender Registry, as is required by Connecticut state law.
On June 10, 2009, VAN WYK was located and arrested at the Hartford Public Library in Hartford. At that time, VAN WYK possessed a laptop computer, which contained hundreds of images and videos of child pornography. It also contained approximately 12 video files of web cam chats between VAN WYK, who was posing as a 10-year-old boy, and a 13-year-old girl who resided in the United Kingdom. During the video chats, VAN WYK persuaded the minor female to engage in sexually explicit behavior. During the last video chat, VAN WYK disclosed his true age to the minor female.
Judge Droney has scheduled sentencing for January 27, 2012. As a result of his prior conviction for attempted child molestation, VAN WYK faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 15 years and a maximum term of imprisonment of 40 on the receipt of child pornography charge, and a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a maximum term of imprisonment of life on the Internet enticement charge.
VAN WYK has been detained since his arrest on June 10, 2009.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Connecticut Computer Crimes Task Force, the Hartford Police Department and the Milford Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Deborah R. Slater.
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, and the District of Connecticut’s “Operation Constant Vigilance,” which are 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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