A man who pled guilty to attempting to sexually propositioning minors online was sentenced to more than 15 years in prison Thursday.
James Anthony Demotto, 31, of Citrus Heights, popped up on the FBI's radar when he started talking to an undercover officer in Massachusetts who was posing as a 13-year-old girl in May 2012, said Lauren Horwood, spokesperson for U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of California. Minutes into the online chat, Demotto asked the "girl" to take sexually explicit photos of herself and send them to him, Horwood said.
Investigators found that by January 2013, Demotto chatted with two undercover agents posing as 13-year-old girls. Horwood said Demotto repeatedly asked the "girls" to send him sexually explicit photos of themselves.
When law enforcement executed a search of Demotto's home, they reported finding sexually explicit photos of girls he had been talking to online. Investigators also found evidence of Demotto searching for child pornography that he could download onto his computer.
"This clearly illustrates why the FBI is committed to identifying and investigating individuals who seek to rob our children of their innocence," FBI Special Agent in Charge Monica M. Miller said. "Any images obtained by Mr. Demotto would likely have been traded among other offenders for years."
At Demotto's sentencing, the judge noted the defendant tried to meet one of his victims, who was actually an agent posing as a teenage girl, by driving the street he believed she lived on and asked her in a chat, "had she seen someone in a clown outfit driving around [her] neighborhood?"
Demotto was sentenced, as part of his plea agreement, to 15 years and eight months in prison, plus 20 years of probation.