To Catch a Predator, Livingston County-style
ROCHESTER — A federal jury convicted a Conesus man Wednesday of trying to use the Internet to meet a person in Batavia he thought was a 15-year-old boy, U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. said.
Dalton E. Wilke, 45, of Conesus was convicted of online enticement of a minor, receipt of child pornography, and possession of child pornography following a two-week trial. The online enticement charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison with a mandatory minimum period of 10 years in prison, receipt of child pornography carries a maximum penalty of 20 years with a mandatory minimum period of 5 years in prison, possession of child pornography carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. Each count is also punishable by a fine of up to $250,000.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Craig R. Gestring and Marisa J. Miller, who tried the case, said Wilke engaged in a series of sexually explicit online chats with a person he believed to be a 15-year-old boy. Over a period of five months, the defendant repeatedly attempted to induce, persuade, and entice the child to meet for the purpose of having sex. A meeting was finally agreed to in August 2008 at a park in Batavia. In actuality, the child was Batavia Police Detective Todd Crossett conducting an online child exploitation investigation.
The defendant arrived at the planned meeting location in Batavia only to be arrested by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and officers of the Batavia Police Department. Following his arrest, FBI agents seized the defendant’s computers from his home in Conesus. A forensic analysis of these computers, performed at the Regional Computer Forensic Lab, linked them to the online enticement, and also recovered a 48-minute long video depicting two young boys engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
In addition to finding the defendant guilty on all counts, the jury also determined that the 2004 GMC Sierra Pickup truck which the defendant drove to the meeting location was subject to forfeiture.
Crossett was honored by National Center for Missing and Exploited Children for his investigation of Wilke, one of five arrests made during a year-long sting led by Crossett.
All cases resulted in convictions.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, click here.
The verdict was the culmination of an investigation on the part of special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James H. Robertson and members of the Batavia Police Department under the direction of Chief Randy Baker.
Wilke was taken into custody following the verdict, and sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 6, 2010, in Rochester, in front of U.S. District Judge Charles J. Siragusa.