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Press Release

New York Man Sentenced To 10 Years In Federal Prison For Attempted Coercion And Enticement Of A Minor To Engage In Sexual Activity

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida

Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Virginia Hernandez Covington has sentenced Dominic Shapiro (33, Forrest Hills, New York) to 10 years in federal prison for attempted coercion or enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity. The court also ordered Shapiro to register as a sex offender and forfeit a cellphone that was used in the commission of the offense. Shapiro had pleaded guilty on November 18, 2022.

According to court documents, Shapiro spent approximately six weeks communicating with an undercover detective, who was posing as a 14-year-old girl, over various social media platforms including Kik, Snapchat, and text messages. During these conversations, Shapiro engaged the fictitious child in sexual conversations, sent images and videos of himself masturbating, and ultimately drove to a park for the purpose of engaging in sexual activities with this child.

“Predators, like Dominic Shapiro, use the pseudo-anonymity of the internet to lure children into a false sense of security before proposing to meet in person,” said Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Assistant Special Agent in Charge Kristopher Pagitt. “Thanks to the diligent efforts of our task force officers and law enforcement partners with the St. Petersburg Police Department along with support from HSI New York, the Federal Air Marshal Service, and the New York Police Department, he was sentenced to a decade behind bars.”    

This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the St. Petersburg Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ilyssa M. Spergel.

This case was brought as 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 Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims.  For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.

Updated February 21, 2023

Topic
Project Safe Childhood