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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Vermont Sex Offender Pleads Guilty to Child Enticement and Pornography Charges

ALBANY, NEW YORK – Dennis Lavigne, age 47, of Vermont, pled guilty today to attempting to coerce and entice a minor to engage in sexual acts with him and to transporting child pornography. 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).

As part of his guilty plea, Lavigne admitted that between November 19-24, 2019, he exchanged sexually explicit text messages with an undercover officer posing as the mother of an 11-year-old child.  In these messages, Lavigne expressed a desire to engage in sexually explicit conduct with the child.  On November 24, 2019, Lavigne traveled from Vermont to Albany, with the intent to engage in sexual acts with the purported 11-year-old child.  Lavigne was subsequently arrested and further admitted to transporting child pornography files, which law enforcement officials recovered from Lavigne’s phone.  Many of the child pornography files featured the rape and sexual abuse of prepubescent minors, including infants.   

Lavigne was a registered sex offender at the time of these crimes; he was previously convicted in Vermont of aggravated sexual assault of a victim under the age of 10.  

Lavigne faces at least 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.  United States District Judge Mae A. D’Agostino will sentence him on December 6, 2022.

This case was investigated by the FBI and its Child Exploitation Task Force, which includes members of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, including the Colonie Police Department and New York State Police.  This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Rachel L. Williams as part of Project Safe Childhood.

Launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice, Project Safe Childhood is led by United States Attorney’s 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 August 3, 2022