Lawrenceville man sentenced to 28 years in prison for attempting to arrange sex with a child
ATLANTA - Leonard Nathaniel Peragine, Jr., has been sentenced to over 28 years in federal prison for using the Internet to entice a child for sexual activity, and for distributing and possessing child pornography as part of that enticement.
“Peragine intentionally searched online for sexual opportunities with children, and fortunately his efforts connected him to an undercover FBI agent instead,” said U.S. Attorney John Horn. “Such conduct is as dehumanizing as it is dangerous. Sexual predators may feel the anonymity of the internet keeps them safe from detection, but this case shows that these predators will be found and prosecuted.”
“The federal investigation into Mr. Peragine Jr. clearly identified his predatory intentions and the resulting lengthy prison sentence handed down reflects the threat he posed to the community. The FBI will continue to work hard toward protecting our nation’s children from such individuals that are so clearly focused on doing them harm,” said David J. LeValley, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office.
According to U.S. Attorney Horn, the charges, and other information presented in court: Peragine responded to a classified advertisement that purported to offer sexual access to a child. While arranging to have sex with the child, Peragine sent child pornography videos to the undercover agent that depicted adult men committing sex acts on prepubescent children.
Peragine later spoke with who he thought was the child and asked the child whether she had seen the videos, and whether she wanted to try those activities with him. After the child said she might be interested, Peragine arranged to meet on September 29, 2015, at a location in Suwanee, Georgia. When Peragine showed up for the meeting, he was arrested and searched by the FBI. Condoms were found in his car, and additional child pornography was located on his cell phone.
Later investigation revealed other instances where Peragine sexually abused girls aged one, six, and eight, and a 14-year-old boy.
Leonard Nathaniel Peragine, Jr., 34, of Lawrenceville, Georgia, was indicted on October 27, 2015. He pleaded guilty, without a plea agreement, on October 25, 2016. He was sentenced to 28 years, four months in prison, to be followed by a lifetime of supervised release on May 31, 2017, by U.S. District Court Judge William S. Duffey, Jr. Peragine still faces outstanding state charges, in Lumpkin County, Georgia, of aggravated child molestation and other related offenses.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John S. Ghose.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.