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Former Army sergeant gets 12 years in prison for trying to lure boys into sex

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A former chaplain assistant at Fort Drum was sentenced Wednesday to more than 12 years in a federal prison for using his computer to try to lure teenage boys into sexual activity.

Jonathan D. McGeoch, 28, was sentenced in U.S. District Court, Syracuse, to 151 months in prison for a July 17 guilty plea to using a facility and means of interstate commerce for the purpose of enticing minors to engage in sexual activity, the lone count contained in a grand jury indictment handed up against him in November 2011.

He also was ordered to undergo an additional 20 years of supervision upon his release and be required to register as a sex offender.

According to a criminal complaint accompanying the federal indictment, Mr. McGeoch, while stationed in Afghanistan, “friended” a 15-year-old boy via Facebook in August. The youth’s mother discovered inappropriate messages and photos from Mr. McGeoch, who was using an alias, and alerted state police in Watertown.

With the mother’s consent, a state police investigator took over the youth’s Facebook account and, posing as the youth, contacted Mr. McGeoch. In subsequent chats, the investigator introduced a fictitious 13-year-old boy to the discussion. According to the complaint, Mr. McGeoch admitted his true identity and discussed engaging in sexual activity with the boys, whom he knew were minors.

Mr. McGeoch, a former Army sergeant, allegedly set up a camping trip for himself and the boys, arranging to meet them Sept. 16 at a gas station in the town of LeRay. After a series of text messages that day, Mr. McGeoch arrived at the location and was arrested.

According to the complaint, Mr. McGeoch admitted he had sent a nude photo of himself to the child and engaged in sexually explicit chats with the youth and with the investigator he believed to be a second youth. He also allegedly admitted he had traveled to the gas station for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity with the youths.

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