Three Charged with Online Child Exploitation Crimes
Registered Sex Offender, Church Employee, and Pizza Delivery Man Charged in Separate Incidents
WILMINGTON, Del. - Charles M. Oberly, III, United States Attorney for the District of Delaware, announced today that federal grand juries sitting in Delaware have returned separate indictments charging three men with online child enticement and other offenses since January 2012. The defendants are: Scott Allen Rupert, age 42 of Pottstown, Pennsylvania; Jeffrey Darlin, age 55 of Swarthmore, Pennsylvania; and Stanley Eugene Morris, age 38, of Preston, Maryland.
Each of the three men have been charged with attempted enticement of a minor and attempted transfer of obscene matter to a minor. If convicted, each man faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years, to life, in prison on the child enticement charge. He faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison on the transfer of obscenity charge. Each man also faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years, to life, of supervised release following any prison term, and will be required to register as a sex offender in any jurisdiction in which he lives, works or attends school.
The charges in each case result from online undercover investigations conducted by the Wilmington office of the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations in recent months. The indictments were made public after the last of the three men under investigation was indicted on March 6, 2012. Below is a summary of each case.
United States v. Scott Allen Rupert
Scott Allen Rupert, a 42-year-old registered sex offender residing in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, was indicted on the child enticement and obscenity charges on January 24, 2012. According to the indictment and court documents, Rupert was arrested on January 9, 2012, after he traveled from his Pottstown home to Bellevue State Park, in Delaware, to meet a person he believed to be a 14-year-old girl for sexual activity. On December 2, 2011, Rupert contacted an undercover federal agent posing as a 14-year-old girl in a Yahoo chat room. Within minutes of beginning the first of over twenty online chats leading to his arrest, Rupert learned that the undercover agent was a 14-year-old girl and asked ‘her’ to meet him for sexual activity. In the ensuing weeks, Rupert and the undercover agent engaged in numerous online conversations about sex acts that they would engage in, with Rupert transmitting images of his exposed genitals to the fictitious minor via online picture sharing software. They also made arrangements to meet at Bellevue State Park on a weekday, when the fictitious minor would stay home from school.
This is the second time that Rupert has been arrested and charged with online child enticement offenses. Rupert was arrested on April 12, 2006 in a similar online sting operation conducted by the Virginia State Police and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, while he was on active duty in the United States Navy and stationed in Norfolk, Virginia. In July 2006, Rupert was convicted in a general court martial of Enticement of a Minor under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Rupert was sentenced to four years of confinement in the Navy Brig. Rupert was released from confinement on June 24, 2008, and registered as a sex offender.
Due to his prior sex offense conviction, Rupert faces an additional mandatory sentence of 10 years in prison, which must run consecutively to the mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years to life, for the enticement offense.
United States v. Stanley Eugene Morris
Stanley Eugene Morris, a 38-year-old Pizza Hut deliveryman at the time of his arrest, was indicted on the child enticement and obscenity charges on February 7, 2012. According to the indictment and court documents, Morris was arrested at his Preston, Maryland residence on November 29, 2011, after using a web camera to transmit videos of himself masturbating to a person he believed to be a 14-year-old girl.
Morris initially contacted the undercover agent in a Yahoo chat room on September 29, 2011. Within the first minute of the initial online chat, the agent informed Morris that she was a 14-year-old female from Dover. Within the first ten minutes of that chat, Morris asked the fictitious minor if they would “like to meet . . . in person” for sexual activity. Within the first twenty minutes of the chat, Morris transmitted the undercover agent access to his web camera, on which he exposed his genitals as he discussed what sex acts he would perform on the fictitious child if they would met in person. Over the course of the next two months, Morris engaged in numerous online sexual conversations with the undercover agent and discussed meeting in person for sexual activity. During October and November 2011, Morris provided the undercover agent with access to his web camera as they engaged in online conversations about the sexual acts Morris planned to engage in with the minor. During these conversations, Morris masturbated and displayed sexual devices on the web camera.
On November 29, 2011, law enforcement agents arrested Morris and executed a federal search warrant at the Preston, Maryland residence. In Morris’s bedroom, agents found a desktop computer that contained his online chats with the undercover agent, along with approximately 11,000 other chat logs. Near the computer, agents found a printed out transcript of one of the chats between Morris and the undercover agent, which Morris said he printed because it contained the fictitious minor’s Delaware address, to which he planned to travel.
United States v. Jeffrey Darlin
Jeffrey Darlin, a 55-year-old facilities manager at Swarthmore Presbyterian Church at the time of his arrest, was indicted on child enticement and obscenity charges on March 6, 2012. According to the indictment and court documents, Darlin was arrested on February 10, 2012, after he traveled from his Swarthmore home to Bellevue State Park, in Delaware, to meet a person he believed to be a 14-year-old girl for sexual activity. Darlin began his online relationship with an undercover federal agent posing as a 14-year-old girl in a Yahoo chat room on January 21, 2012. During their initial online chats, Darlin instructed the supposed 14-year-old high school cheerleader and gymnast how to delete all evidence of their online communications from ‘her’ computer and then engaged in numerous online conversations in which he repeatedly talked about teaching the fictitious minor how to engage in various sex acts. Using a computer located in his church office, Darlin sent the undercover agent pictures of himself engaged in sexual acts, to illustrate the type of acts he would perform with ‘her.’ Darlin arranged to meet the fictitious minor at Bellevue State Park and then take ‘her’ to a hotel on Route 202 for sexual activity.
Darlin was arrested after arriving at Bellevue State Park on February 10, 2012 for the pre-arranged meeting with the undercover agent. Found in his vehicle were numerous condoms, and a backpack containing a bottle of wine, sexual toys, and a large jar of honey. Upon being advised of the arrest, Swarthmore Presbyterian Church officials terminated Darlin and cooperated fully in the criminal investigation. Darlin has been detained since his February 10, 2012 arrest.