Jury Convicts Sex Offender of Attempting to Entice a Minor
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of New York
UTICA, NEW YORK – Charles Wager, age 55, of Castleton-on-Hudson, New York, was convicted yesterday of attempting to entice a minor into engaging in unlawful sexual activities, following a 4-day trial. United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman and Janeen DiGuiseppi, Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), made the announcement.
The trial evidence established that in January and February 2021, Wager exchanged thousands of sexually explicit text messages with people he believed to be a 10-year-old girl and her mother. In these text messages, Wager, among other things, discussed performing different sexual acts with the 10-year-old and sent nude pictures of himself. Wager arranged to meet with the presumed mother and 10-year-old in person. On February 5, 2021, he travelled from Castleton-on-Hudson to Binghamton, New York, for the purpose of having sex with the presumed 10-year-old. The defendant was arrested shortly after his arrival.
In 2002, Wager pled guilty in Rensselaer County Court to rape in the third degree, after admitting to having sex with a then-15-year-old girl. He has been required to register as a sex offender ever since. Following his arrest in February 2021, Wager also admitted to sexually molesting two other minor victims several decades ago.
Sentencing is scheduled for June 8, 2023, before United States District Judge David N. Hurd in Utica, at which time the defendant faces a minimum term of imprisonment of 20 years, a maximum term of life, a fine of up to $250,000, and a term of supervised release of at least 5 years and up to life. The defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, and other factors.
The FBI Syracuse Mid-State Child Exploitation Task Force investigated this case. This task force is comprised of FBI Special Agents and Investigators of the New York State Police, Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI), and the Colonie Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Benjamin S. Clark and Thomas R. Sutcliffe prosecuted this case.
This case is prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorney’s offices, 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 identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit https://www.justice.gov/psc/.
Updated February 3, 2023
Project Safe Childhood