Retired Indiana Principal Sentenced to Ten Years in Prison for Attempting to Entice a Minor to Engage in Unlawful Sexual Activity
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Dave Aronberg, State Attorney, Office of the State Attorney for Palm Beach County, Alysa D. Erichs, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI), and Jeffrey S. Katz, Chief, Boynton Beach Police Department (BBPD), announced the sentencing of defendant Dennis Blake, 62, of Delray Beach, Florida, in connection with his conviction for two counts of enticing a minor to engage in sexual activity, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2422(b). After finding that Blake, a retired principal from Indiana, arranged to meet a minor to engage in sexual activity, U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom sentenced Blake to a 120 month term of imprisonment and a $200 special assessment. Upon release, Blake will serve a 10 year term of supervised release and will have to register as a sex offender.
Blake pled guilty to two counts of enticing a minor to engage in sexual activity on March 31, 2015. The evidence showed that Blake sent numerous sexually explicit messages via a web-based social media application to an undercover officer who posed as a 15 year-old boy. Blake then attempted to meet the person he believed to be a minor to engage in illegal sexual activity. Blake was arrested by Boynton Beach Police Officers and Special Investigators for the office of the State Attorney’s Sexual Predator Enforcement Unit after he drove to a location where he believed that he would pick up the 15 year old boy. Special Agents from ICE-HSI conducted further investigation into Blake’s cellular telephone which revealed another conversation Blake had with an actual 15 year-old boy who lived in Palm Beach County, Florida. Blake had exchanged numerous sexually explicit messages via another web-based social media application and traveled to the boy’s home to attempt to engage in sex with him.
This case was part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. 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 www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
Mr. Ferrer and Mr. Aronberg commended the investigative and cooperative efforts of ICE-HSI and BBPD. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brandy Galler and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory Schiller from the Palm Beach State Attorney’s Office.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.