SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – Richard O’Hara, age 31, of Glen Aubrey, New York had an initial appearance in federal court in Binghamton, New York yesterday on charges that he attempted to coerce and entice a minor to engage in sexual activity that would constitute a crime in New York. The announcement was made by United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith and Thomas F. Relford, Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
As alleged in the criminal complaint, O’Hara responded to a public message on a social networking website and then communicated with an undercover law enforcement officer who he believed to be a parent and 10-year-old daughter. O’Hara was arrested after he showed up at a house expecting to engage in sex acts with the girl, after promising her gifts if she engaged in sex acts with him.
If convicted, the defendant faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a maximum term of imprisonment of life, a maximum fine of $250,000, and a term of supervised release of between five years and life. He will also be required to register as a sex offender.
Following his initial appearance in Court, the defendant was detained pending further proceedings. The charges in the complaint are merely accusations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael D. Gadarian as part of Project Safe Childhood. Launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice, Project Safe Childhood is 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 https://www.justice.gov/psc.