News and Press Releases

Whitehall, New York Man Charged with Enticement and Interstate Travel to Have Sex with a Minor

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 1, 2012

Burlington, VT – The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont stated that George Bruso, 44, of Whitehall, New York, was charged today with using a cellular telephone to entice a minor to engage in prostitution or unlawful sexual activity, a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2422(b), and traveling in interstate commerce for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual contact with another, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2423(b). 

According to court records, a prostitute in the Rutland, Vermont area told law enforcement that one of her clients, later identified as the defendant, had told her that he wanted to have sex with a minor. A Special Agent with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) assumed the persona of a 14–year old prostitute and reached out to the defendant via text messaging. The text messaging culminated with the defendant showing up at a South Burlington location to meet with the 14-year old for the purpose of engaging in sexual contact with her. At that time, law enforcement took the defendant into custody.

United States Attorney Coffin commended the efforts of the Homeland Security Investigations and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in investigating the case.
Assistant United States Attorney Barbara Masterson is prosecuting the case. Assistant Federal Defender Steven Barth is representing Mr. Bruso.

United States Attorney Coffin noted that this prosecution is part of the U.S. Department of Justice's Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorney's Offices and the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

This investigation was part of Operation Green Wave, an investigative initiative targeting child exploitation and child pornography led by HSI and the U.S. Attorney's office working in conjunction with partners in state and local law enforcement.

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