Maryland Authorities Convict Pennsylvania Man Who Sought to Have Sex with a Child
Defendant Proposed Sex within Minutes of Internet Meeting on Thursday; Drove to Maryland the Next Tuesday to Abuse Child
Baltimore, Maryland - Patrick G. Mahan, age 34, of Lincoln University, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty today to interstate travel with the intent to engage in a sexual act with minor, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.
“If parents do not monitor their children’s internet use every day, it might be too late,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. “Within minutes after Patrick Mahan ‘met’ a child in an internet chat room, Mahan solicited the girl for sex. Within five days, Mahan traveled from Pennsylvania to Maryland to follow through on his plan to abuse the child. This case demonstrates how quickly internet predators are able and willing to act when they find vulnerable children.”
According to his guilty plea, on May 29, 2008, while working in an undercover capacity, a Baltimore County Police detective posing as a minor girl from Baltimore County, Maryland, was contacted by “searay1974,” later found to be Mahan, who e-mailed that he wanted to meet her. Mahan and the detective, still posing as the girl, had a lengthy online chat during which Mahan asked if she was a cop. Mahan also explicitly solicited the girl for vaginal, anal and oral sex. Mahan agreed to meet the girl on June 3, 2008, at a location in Baltimore County between 9:00-9:30 a.m. Mahan described the truck he would be driving and said that he lived in Pennsylvania. Mahan also emailed the girl a photograph of himself.
On June 3, 2008, members of the Baltimore County Police Department Crimes Against Children Unit saw a truck matching the description provided by Mahan arrive at the pre-arranged location at 9:30 a.m. As a detective approached the truck he noticed that the driver, later identified as Patrick G. Mahan, looked like the photo sent to the girl. The detective saw Mahan throwing his cellphone on the floor of the truck and Mahan told the detective that he had just made a phone call from the cellphone and was there to meet a girl.
Following his arrest, a box of condoms, a cellphone and $199 in cash was recovered from the pick-up truck. Mahan admitted traveling that morning from his home in Pennsylvania to Baltimore County, Maryland, and that he brought the condoms and money in case he needed them for sexual purposes when he met with the girl with whom he had been chatting on the internet.
Mahan faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, followed by supervised release for life. U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett has scheduled sentencing for April 3, 2009.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov. Details about Maryland’s program are available at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/md/Safe-Childhood/index.html.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the Baltimore County Police Department Crimes Against Children Unit, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger and his office for their assistance in this investigation and prosecution. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney P. Michael Cunningham, who is prosecuting the case.