Editor's Note: While not a Cape Cod story, this piece offers some insight into how online predators entice young children. As always, please monitor your kids' online activities.
BOSTON – A Canadian national pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court in Springfield to enticing children over the internet to produce child pornography and to send the sexually explicit pictures to him.
Justin Carl Wong, 35, of Ontario, Canada, pleaded guilty to 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor. U.S. District Court Judge Mark G. Mastroianni scheduled sentencing for Oct. 4, 2018. Wong was indicted in August 2014 and has been in custody since his arraignment on Aug. 10, 2017, after being extradited from Canada.
In December 2012, Wong used a Voxer account to communicate with two girls, aged eight and 10, in Hampshire County. Wong first sent text and voice messages to the 10-year-old girl, knowing that she was a minor. Wong offered to be her “pretend boyfriend” and to help her “get a boyfriend in” her “real life.” Wong asked the girl to send him sexually explicit pictures of herself, but the child initially refused. Wong used psychological pressure to persuade and then to bully the girl to send him sexually explicit pictures by threatening to never speak to her again and telling her she would live a “lonely life” and to “have a nice life being alone” without Wong in her life. Wong repeatedly referred to her as a “bitch” and said she was a “loser” because she refused to send the pictures.
On Dec. 19, 2012, the 10-year-old girl succumbed to Wong’s repeated demands and took and sent three sexually explicit pictures of herself, as well as two sexually explicit photographs with the eight-year-old girl. Later that day, Wong engaged in a series of online communications with the eight-year-old girl in which Wong demanded specific kinds of sexually explicit pictures. The girl responded by taking and sending to Wong five such photographs.
Each count of sexual exploitation provides for a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years and up to 30 years in prison, a minimum of five years and up to a lifetime of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based on the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling, Peter C. Fitzhugh, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; Colonel Kerry A. Gilpin, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; and Granby Police Chief Alan Wishart made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Alex Grant of Lelling’s Springfield Branch Office is prosecuting the case.