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BUFFALO, NY—U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Jason Bek, 30, of West Seneca, N.Y. pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara, to coercion and enticement of a minor and receipt of child pornography. The charges carry a maximum penalty of life in prison, a $500,000 or both.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Maura K. O’Donnell, who is handling the case, stated that the defendant used the Internet and telephone to attempt to persuade, induce, entice, and coerce a person who he believed to be a 13-year-old child to engage in sexual activity. In actuality, the 13-year-old child was fictional, and the defendant’s online conversations were with law enforcement officers posing as various individuals. Bek was arrested in May 2011, when he arrived at a pre-arranged meeting with the minor for purposes of engaging in sexual activity. The defendant was in possession of alcohol and prescription drugs, which he intended to give to the minor. In addition, Bek pleaded guilty to the knowing receipt of child pornography in March 2011. The defendant possessed in excess of 150 images of child pornography on his computer.
This case was brought as 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 United States 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 .
The plea was the culmination of an investigation on the part of special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Cyber Crime Task Force, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Christopher M. Piehota and Detectives and Officers from the Cheektowaga Police Department, under the direction of Chief David Zack.
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