Pennsylvania Man Who Sought to Have Sex with a Child Sentenced to 3 Years in Prison
Defendant Proposed Sex within Minutes of Internet Meeting on Thursday; Drove to Maryland the Next Tuesday to Abuse Child
Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett sentenced Patrick G. Mahan, age 34, of Lincoln University, Pennsylvania, today to three years in prison, followed by 10 years of supervised release, for 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. In addition, Judge Bennett required that Mahan register as a sex offender in the place where he resides, where he is an employee, and where he is a student, pursuant to the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).
“Parents need to monitor their children’s internet use every day,” 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, in a series of e-mails in late May and early June, 2008, an undercover Baltimore County Police detective posing as a minor girl, 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. 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. Mahan told the detective that he 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.
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 prosecuted the case.