New Hampshire Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Sex Crime
BOSTON – A New Hampshire man pleaded guilty today to traveling with intent to engage in illegal sexual activity with a minor.
Karl W. Leeman, 48, of Milford, N.H., pleaded guilty before U.S. Chief District Court Judge Patti B. Saris to a Superseding Information charging travel with intent to engage in illegal sexual activity with a minor.
In February 2014, federal undercover agents in Boston placed an advertisement on Craigslist purportedly as a mother seeking an adult interested in a “taboo relationship” with her daughter. Leeman responded that he was interested, even after the purported mother disclosed that her daughter was only 14-years-old. Leeman proceeded to engage in more than 650 email communications with the purported mother, detailing the sexual activities in which he would engage with the minor “daughter.” On Feb. 27, 2014, Leeman left his home in Milford, NH, traveled to work in Massachusetts, and then to Watertown for the purpose of having sex with a minor. Upon his arrival at the designated meeting place, he was arrested by federal agents. At the time of his arrest, Leeman was carrying alcohol, bath products, lubricant, and gifts of clothing for the minor.
The charging statute provides a sentence of no greater than 30 years in prison, a minimum of five years and a maximum of a lifetime of supervised released, and a $250,000 fine. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Bruce M. Foucart, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston, made the announcement today. Assistance was also provided by HSI Manchester N.H., the Massachusetts State Police, the Watertown Police Department and the Milford, N.H. Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Eve A. Piemonte Stacey of Ortiz’s Major Crimes Unit.
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 the U.S. Attorneys= Offices and the Criminal Division=s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, 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/.