Archive for Thursday, April 2, 2009

New York man sentenced as a result of Baldwin City police online sting

April 2, 2009

Chalk up another online sexual predator conviction for the Baldwin City Police Department.

Larry LaVancher, 61, Auburn, N.Y., was sentenced to 121 months in prison Monday in U.S. District Court after he plead guilty to distributing child pornography on the Internet to an undercover officer in Baldwin City. The crime occurred in December 2007 and LaVancher was arrested by FBI agents Jan. 15, 2008, at his home.

“In this case, it was orchestrated so we were on the computer talking to the suspect when the FBI came to door,” said BCPD Chief Mike McKenna. “Hard to deny that.”

LaVancher admitted to having sent numerous pornographic images of children to the officer. He thought he was conversing with a 30-year-old woman and her 13-year-old daughter. Court documents reveal he was trying to talk them into committing sex acts.

“Absolutely,” said Asst. U.S. Attorney Lisa Fletcher, who prosecuted the case. “He transmitted many pornographic images to the officer during the chat. Some of the chats are sealed because they are so vulgar.”

Baldwin City officers have been involved with many such cases, six of which have resulted in arrests and this is the third conviction, so far. But this one was the farthest from Baldwin City.

“You’ve heard the expression, ‘the long arm of the law.’ This is it,” said McKenna. “He started talking to us, thinking it was a woman with a daughter here in Baldwin. The perpetrator or suspect has to make the solicitation for sexual gratification from us. This is an essential part of any of these child pedophile cases.”

Fletcher said it’s vital for police departments of all sizes to do what they can to stem the epidemic of online sexual predators. It keeps her office busy.

“It’s always nice to know that departments that aren’t big can devote time to these kinds of cases,” said Fletcher. “We can be as busy as we want to be.”

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