Connecticut Man Charged with Enticing a Minor to Engage in Sexual Activity
Orlando, Florida - United States Attorney Robert E. O'Neill announces the arrest today of Christopher Watts (38, Windsor, Connecticut). Watts is charged in a criminal complaint with attempting to entice a minor to engage in sexual activity via the internet. If convicted, Watts faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years and up to life in federal prison.
According to court documents, Watts responded to a posting in a public chat room that stated “dad has daughter.” The posting was made by an undercover law enforcement officer investigating a particular free public website. Watts told the undercover officer that it was a “big fantasy” of his to have sex with a 14 year-old. Watts sent an explicit picture of himself to the undercover officer to confirm his interest in engaging in sexual activity with the minor. Watts traveled from Connecticut to Brevard County and was arrested.
A criminal complaint is merely an accusation that a defendant has committed a violation of the federal criminal laws, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."
This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations (ICE HSI), the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, and the Windsor (Connecticut) Police Department. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Carlos A. Perez and Special Assistant United States Attorney Myrna Amelia Mesa.