Earlier today, Ryan Behar pleaded guilty in federal court in Brooklyn to transferring obscene material to a minor and to committing that offense while required by state law to register as a sex offender. The proceeding took place before United States District Judge Rachel P. Kovner. When sentenced, Behar faces a statutory minimum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment.
Jacquelyn M. Kasulis, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, announced the guilty plea.
“The defendant, a registered sex offender, admits to victimizing a 12-year-old girl by misrepresenting himself as a teenager on social media and sending her obscene, sexually explicit material,” stated Acting U.S. Attorney Kasulis. “Protecting children from predators like the defendant will always be a priority of this Office. The defendant’s conduct should serve as a reminder to parents of the dangers that may be lurking online.” Ms. Kasulis expressed her grateful appreciation to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), and the FBI’s Human Trafficking and Child Exploitation Task Force for their work on the case.
As set forth in court filings and today’s court proceeding, in October 2020, while misrepresenting himself on Instagram to be a teenage boy, Behar, then 41 years old, contacted the victim and asked her age. The victim responded that she was 12 years old, provided an image of a young girl and stated, “This is what I look like.” Behar repeatedly asked the victim to send him images of her body. When she refused, Behar sent her a graphic image of adult male genitals and wrote to the victim “that’s mine,” and continued to press the victim for “full body” images.
Behar was previously convicted in February 2018 in Richmond County Supreme Court for attempted dissemination of indecent material to a minor in the first degree after sending sexually explicit material over social media to another female minor victim. Following that conviction, Behar was required to register with the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services as a Level 1 sex offender pursuant to the New York Sex Offender Registration Act.
This prosecution is 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 United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Department of Justice Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, 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.
The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s General Crimes Section. Assistant United States Attorney Garen S. Marshall is in charge of the prosecution.
Staten Island, New York
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 21-CR-187 (RPK)