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Press Release

Sullivan County Man Sentenced To 12 Years In Prison For Attempting To Entice A Minor To Engage In Sexual Activity

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that SAMUEL TERWILLIGER was sentenced to 12 years in prison for his attempted enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity.  TERWILLIGER pled guilty on October 22, 2014 before U.S. District Court Judge Vincent Briccetti, who also imposed today’s sentence.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “Samuel Terwilliger has now been sentenced for his predatory crime, attempting to entice a minor to engage in sexual activity.  This case – and others like it that we prosecute – underlines the need for law enforcement to be vigilant in its protection of children from those who prey on them.  I want to thank the FBI, the Rockland County Computer Crimes Task Force, the Child Protective Services of Sullivan County, and the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Department for their work in this investigation and prosecution. ”

According to the Complaint and other documents filed in this case, and statements made in related court proceedings:

In August 2013, an individual (the “Reporter”) advised the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) that the Reporter, posing as a 14-year-old girl, had engaged in online communications with a person using the screen name “tas_128.”  During those communications, “tas_128” indicated that “tas_128” wanted to engage in sexual activities with the Reporter.  The FBI instructed the Reporter to advise “tas_128” that the Reporter had a young friend who would be interested in communicating with “tas_128” and provided the Reporter with an email address to provide to “tas_128” for an undercover FBI agent (“UC”).

Between August 16, 2013 and September 26, 2013, the UC and “Tas_128,” later identified as SAMUEL TERWILLIGER, engaged in a series of emails and text communications.  Among other things, TERWILLIGER told the UC that he was 24 years old and the UC told TERWILLIGER that she was a 13-year-old girl.  During these communications, TERWILLIGER acknowledged his understanding that the UC was a minor, solicited graphic sexual images of the minor from the UC, and described in detail a variety of sexual acts he wanted to engage in with the 13-year-old.  TERWILLIGER repeatedly requested that the minor join him in a “three-way relationship” with his girlfriend and told the girl that he wanted to impregnate her.  TERWILLIGER told the UC, “We have been trying to find a woman for a year now that would join our relationship.”

On April 10, 2014, the FBI executed a search warrant at the defendant’s residence.  On that date, the defendant admitted that he had engaged in sexually-explicit conversations with a girl whom he believed to be approximately 13 years old.  He also admitted that, at the time he was communicating with her, he planned to bring her to stay with him and his girlfriend because he wanted to have sex with her and impregnate her.  In addition, the defendant admitted that, in October 2013, he had engaged in sexual intercourse with a 15-year-old girl while his girlfriend watched.

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TERWILLIGER, 26, of Calicoon, NY, was also sentenced to 5 years’ supervised release to follow the imprisonment.

Mr. Bharara praised the efforts of the FBI, the Rockland County Computer Crimes Task Force, Child Protective Services of Sullivan County, and the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Department in connection with this case.

The prosecution is being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division.  Assistant United States Attorney Marcia S. Cohen is in charge of the prosecution.

Updated August 10, 2015

Press Release Number: 15-200