Due to the lapse in appropriations, Department of Justice websites will not be regularly updated. The Department’s essential law enforcement and national security functions will continue. Please refer to the Department of Justice’s contingency plan for more information.

You are here

Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 5, 2016

U.S. Attorney Charges College Student With Sexual Exploitation Of Minors

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Angel M. Melendez, the Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations, New York Field Office (“HSI”), announced today the arrest of ROBERT J. GARNEAU, a/k/a “Raptorr427,” a/k/a “Bobby Sixx,” a/k/a “Allison Denario,” a/k/a “Giannafitz81.”  GARNEAU is charged with communicating with three different underage victims online and convincing them to take sexually explicit photographs and send them to GARNEAU online.  GARNEAU was arrested this morning and will be presented today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Judith McCarthy in White Plains federal court.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said:  “Robert Garneau’s alleged crimes are the nightmare of every modern parent.  Using every day social media websites, Garneau allegedly exploited minors for his own sexual gratification.  We will continue to work with our partners at Homeland Security Investigations to vigorously investigate and prosecute defendants who sexually exploit children.”                                                                                                        

Special Agent in Charge Angel M. Melendez said:  “Today’s arrest should serve as a stern reminder to parents that, as kids spend more and more time on the internet and gaming consoles, parents must step up by teaching their kids how to spot internet predators and talking to them about who they talk to and what information they share.  Those who look to exploit the most vulnerable in our society by hiding behind the wall of the internet will remain a top priority for HSI as we continue to identify and arrest these heinous criminals.”

According to the Complaint[1] unsealed today in White Plains federal court:        

From September 2014 to December 1, 2014, GARNEAU communicated online via Instagram and Kik with a then 12-year-old minor (“Victim-1”) in Vacaville, California, and convinced Victim-1 to take and send sexually-explicit photographs of Victim-1 to GARNEAU.   On August 10, 2015, and July 18, 2015, GARNEAU engaged in the same type of activity with two more minors (“Victim-2” and “Victim-3”).  

During his communications with his victims, GARNEAU utilized the screen names “Raptorr427,” “BobbySixx,” “Allison Denario” and/or “Giannafitz81.”  Further, while communicating with his victims, GARNEAU posed as a minor and threatened his victims that if they did not send additional photos and/or videos, they would be arrested for the photos and/or videos they had already sent.  With respect to Victim-2, GARNEAU also threatened to show the photos and videos to Victim-2’s Instagram followers.

There may be more victims of this alleged conduct.  If you have information to report, contact Homeland Security Investigations through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form.  Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.  From outside the U.S. and Canada, callers should dial 802-872-6199.  Hearing-impaired users can call TTY 802-872-6196.

*          *          *

GARNEAU, 21, of Warwick, New York, is charged with three counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, each carrying a minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.  The statutory maximum sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.

Mr. Bharara praised the efforts of Homeland Security Investigations, Long Island University, the Nassau County Police Department, and the Vacaville Police Department in Vacaville, California, in connection with this investigation.  He added that the investigation is ongoing.

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.  

 

[1] As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Complaint and the description of the Complaint set forth herein constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Press Release Number: 
16-113
Updated May 5, 2016