Bismarck Man Sentenced for Sex Crime of Coercion & Enticement
BISMARCK – U.S. Attorney Timothy Q. Purdon announced that on May 6, 2013, Aaron E. Masser, 29, Bismarck, N.D., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Daniel L. Hovland on a charge of coercion and enticement. Masser pleaded guilty to the charge on Feb. 19, 2013.
Judge Hovland sentenced Masser to serve four years and nine months in federal prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release. Masser was ordered to pay a $100 special assessment to the Crime Victim’s Fund.
From June 2012 until August 2012, Masser communicated through Facebook and text messaging with someone he believed to be a 13-year-old female. The female was actually an undercover member of the Bismarck Police Department. Masser, through his communications, arranged a meeting with the juvenile in a Bismarck park to engage in sexual activity. When Masser arrived at the park to meet the juvenile, he was met by members of the Bismarck Police Department and agents from Homeland Security Investigations and was immediately placed under arrest.
This investigation was initiated by the North Dakota Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and was a cooperative effort of Homeland Security Investigations and the Bismarck Police Department.
This case was brought as a 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 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.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Gary Delorme prosecuted the case.