Jury Convicts Vermont Man for Attempting to Entice a Minor
ALBANY, NEW YORK – Thomas Cesiro, age 68, of Rutland, Vermont, was convicted yesterday of attempting to entice or coerce a minor, following a three-day jury trial. The announcement was made by 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).
The evidence at trial established that, from October 10 to October 20, 2020, Cesiro exchanged over 1,000 text messages and 9 phone calls with Albany-based undercover investigators who were posing as both a 12-year-old girl and the adult mother of the girl. During one phone call, Cesiro instructed the girl how to conduct a sexual act. On October 20, 2020, Cesiro traveled from his residence in Rutland to Bennington, Vermont, to meet the purported mother and 12-year-old child, and brought with him various sexual toys and gifts for the child, including a vibrating Frozen-themed toothbrush. Cesiro was encountered by law enforcement officials upon his arrival to the arranged meeting location and arrested.
When United States District Judge Mae A. D’Agostino sentences Cesiro on February 15, 2023, Cesiro faces a minimum of 10 years and up to life in prison, and a term of post-imprisonment supervised release of at least 5 years and up to life. A 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.
This case was investigated by the FBI and its Child Exploitation Task Force, including investigators from the Colonie Police Department, Rotterdam Police Department, and New York State Police, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Rachel Williams and Richard Belliss.
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 located, 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/.