September 20th, 2007 03:21 EST
Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Victimizing Girl he met on Myspace
Kevin J. O’Connor, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that JASON PALMEIRA, also known as “Jay,” 27, of Springfield, Massachusetts, was sentenced today by Chief United States District Judge Robert N. Chatigny in Hartford to 36 months of imprisonment, followed by 10 years of supervised release, for traveling in interstate commerce for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual conduct. PALMEIRA pleaded guilty to the offense on May 22, 2007.
According to documents filed with the Court and statements made in court, in June 2006, PALMEIRA met a 15-year-old female victim through the internet web site myspace.com. The victim’s myspace.com profile identified her as being 15-years-old, and PALMEIRA’s myspace.com profile identified him as being 26-years-old. PALMEIRA and the victim started communicating often via the internet. Some of their conversations were sexual in nature. PALMEIRA and the victim communicated with each other about getting together and engaging in sexual conduct.
On July 13, 2006, PALMEIRA drove to the victim’s hometown in Connecticut, picked her up and then traveled with her from Connecticut to a home in Springfield, Massachusetts. While at the Springfield home, PALMEIRA and the victim engaged in sexual contact. PALMEIRA drove the victim back to her hometown the following morning.
On August 1, 2006, federal agents arrested PALMEIRA pursuant to an arrest warrant and criminal complaint.
“It’s important to note that, in addition to lengthy prison terms, individuals who are prosecuted by this Office and convicted of crimes against children are exposed to punishment and restrictions that continue long after they are released from prison,” U.S. Attorney O’Connor stated.
After service of his term of imprisonment, PALMEIRA’s 10-year term of supervised release will include many special conditions, including that he shall participate in mental health treatment, with an emphasis on sexual offender treatment, either inpatient or outpatient, to include participation with polygraph administration, as directed by the United States Probation Office; he is prohibited from accessing or possessing sexually explicit materials involving minors; he shall not be permitted to use the internet to access or view child pornography or be in close proximity to anyone using the internet for such a purpose; he shall consent to third-party disclosure to any employer, potential employer, community service site, or other interested party, as determined by the probation officer, of any computer related restrictions that are imposed; he shall have no unsupervised contact with any child under 18 years of age; he shall permit the United States Probation Officer, upon reasonable suspicion, to conduct a search of his residence, automobile, computer and workplace for the presence of sexually explicit materials involving minors; he shall register as a sex offender; he shall provide the probation officer with access to any requested financial records, including but not limited to, telephone bills and credit card statements; he shall not loiter around playgrounds, schools, arcades or any other places where children under the age of 18 congregate; he shall not associate with or have contact with convicted sex offenders or those considered inappropriate by the probation officer, unless as part of an approved counseling group, and he is prohibited from holding any position of authority or guidance over children or youth groups involving individuals under the age of 18.
U.S. Attorney O’Connor offered several warning signs that a child may be communicating online with a sexual predator. These signs include a child who spends large amounts of time online, particularly between the hours of 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. when their parents may still be at work; pornography is found on a child’s computer, as predators will often send their victims pornography to engage them in sexual discussions; a child receives or makes phone calls to unfamiliar numbers; a child receives mail, gifts or packages from unknown sources; a child makes efforts to cover up what he or she is doing on the computer; including turning off the monitor or changing the screen when others walk into the room; a child begins to use an online account belonging to someone else; a child becomes withdrawn from the family.
“It is imperative that we communicate openly with our children about the risks of internet use and monitor their online activities,” U.S. Attorney O’Connor stated. “Computers with internet access should be placed in a common room in the house, and parental controls and monitoring software are available and can be easily installed. Also, carefully review the information contained in a child’s screen name or internet profile, as predators will often use that information to target and pursue their victims.”
U.S. Attorney O’Connor noted that this prosecution is part of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood Initiative, which is aimed at protecting children from sexual abuse and exploitation.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Simsbury Police Department and the Connecticut Computer Crimes Task Force, which includes federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Geoffrey M. Stone.
The Connecticut Computer Crimes Task Force was formed in February 2003 to investigate crimes occurring over the internet. These crimes include computer intrusion, internet fraud, copyright violations, internet threats and harassment and on-line crimes against children. The Task Force also provides computer forensic review services for participating agencies. The Task Force is housed in the main FBI office in New Haven, Connecticut. For more information about the Task Force, please contact the FBI at 203-777-6311.
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