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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Troy Man Pleads Guilty to Attempted Online Enticement of a Minor

ALBANY, NEW YORK – Michael Varian, age 52, of Troy, New York, pled guilty today to one count of attempted online enticement of a minor, announced United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith and James N. Hendricks, Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

As part of his guilty plea, Varian, a school bus driver, admitted that he attempted to entice an individual, whom he believed to be a 14-year-old boy, to have sex.  After weeks of exchanging sexually explicit text messages with undercover law enforcement officers posing as the boy, Varian arranged to meet the boy at a fast food restaurant in Albany County, where Varian was arrested.  As part of the plea, Varian also admitted that he had a prior sexual encounter with a minor boy in the public bathroom of an Albany County mall.   

As a result of his conviction, Varian faces at least 10 years and up to life in prison, and a term of post-release supervision 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.  Sentencing is scheduled for October 16, 2019 before Senior United States District Judge Thomas J. McAvoy.   Varian will also have to register as a sex offender upon his release from prison.

This case was investigated by the FBI and its Child Exploitation Task Force, which includes members of state and local law enforcement agencies, including the Town of Colonie Police Department, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joshua R. Rosenthal and Megan Kinsella Kistler. 

This case is being prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood.  Launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice, Project Safe Childhood is 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 https://www.justice.gov/psc

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated June 27, 2019