Project Safe Childhood:
REPEAT CHILD SEX OFFENDER SENTENCED
TO MORE THAN 17 YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that WILLIAM SCOTT VAN WYK, 35, last residing in Hartford, was sentenced today by Senior United States District Judge Ellen Bree Burns in New Haven to 210 months of imprisonment, followed by a lifetime term of supervised release. On November 8, 2011, VAN WYK, a repeat sex offender, pleaded guilty 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’s Sex Offender Registry Unit, the Milford Police Department, and all members of the Connecticut Computer Crimes Task Force for their efforts in bringing this defendant, and others who abuse and 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 and stated that she would have to continue doing what he said or he would put the recorded web cam sessions of her on the Internet. The 13-year old asked VAN WYK not to do so, and then told him that she would be moving in a couple of weeks.
Forensic analysis revealed that VAN WYK unsuccessfully attempted to send one of the video web cam chats to an individual in Georgia, and there is no evidence that VAN WYK transmitted the chats to anyone else.
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’s Sex Offender Registry Unit and the Milford Police Department. The case was 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.
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