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Press Release

Previously Convicted Sex Offender Pleads Guilty

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

CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE: (716) 843-5817
FAX #: (716) 551-3051

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr., announced today that Vernon Schermerhorn III, 51, of Coeymans Hollow, NY, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge David G. Larimer to attempted receipt of child pornography. The charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, and a maximum of 20 years.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle P. Rossi, who is handling the case, stated that in September 2019, the defendant engaged in conversation on a teen chat website with a person he believed to be a 13-year-old girl, who, in fact, was an undercover FBI agent. The chat turned sexual in nature, and during it, defendant proposed that the two have sex and requested naked photographs.

Subsequent investigation determined that the defendant is a registered sex offender, who was convicted in 2003 in New York State Court of disseminating indecent material to a minor via computer for sexual contact. Schermerhorn was sentenced to 10 years’ probation.

The plea is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Stephen Belongia, and the New York State Police, under the direction of Acting Major Barry Chase. 

Sentencing is scheduled for May 19, 2021, at 2:00 pm before Judge Larimer.  

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Updated February 23, 2021

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