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Press Release

Wilmington Man Sentenced to Over Eight Years in Prison for Traveling to PA for Sexual Encounter with a Minor

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Pennsylvania

PHILADELPHIA – Acting United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced that Thomas Traumann, 53, of Wilmington, DE, was sentenced to eight years and three months in prison, ten years of supervised release, and a $25,000 find by United States District Court Judge Gene E.K. Pratter for traveling across state lines to have sex with a person whom he believed to be a minor child.

In October 2020, the defendant pleaded guilty to one count of interstate travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct. The charges stem from Traumann’s attempt in late-2018 to entice a minor into having a sexual relationship with him.

On November 3, 2018, Traumann began an online chat on a social media website with a person whom he thought was a 14-year-old girl. In reality, the defendant was exchanging online messages with a Special Agent from the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General working in an undercover capacity. In his communications, Traumann repeatedly acknowledged that the “girl” was 14-years-old and made his intentions quite clear that he wanted to have a sexual encounter with her days later. He also knew what he was proposing was against the law, stating in part, “…I am a little concerned … I will go to jail because of your age…” When Traumann traveled by vehicle to meet up with this purported girl near ‘her’ house in Pennsylvania on November 5, 2018, he was taken into custody by law enforcement.

“This defendant traveled here from out-of-state and was prepared to sexually assault a young, vulnerable child,” said First Assistant U.S. Attorney Williams. “I shudder to think what would have happened had Traumann connected online with an actual child rather than an undercover agent. We are grateful to our federal, state and local partners who work relentlessly to identify and stop all those who would prey upon minor children.”

“Homeland Security Investigations special agents are committed to the fight to defend our children from online perpetrators,” said Brian A. Michael, Special Agent in Charge for Homeland Security Investigations Philadelphia. “Traumann’s attempts to exploit an innocent child is unconscionable.  Today’s sentencing, is yet another example of how Homeland Security Investigations and our partners with  the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General will relentlessly pursue child predators who commit these atrocious crimes.

The case is brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. In 2006, the Department of Justice created Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and CEOS, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Josh A. Davison.


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Updated February 24, 2021

Project Safe Childhood