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Child Exploitation
09/05/2008

TSA screener sentenced to 15 years in prison for sexually enticing a minor

FT. PIERCE, Fla. - A 48-year-old man of Everett, Massachusetts, was sentenced here Thursday to 15 years in prison for sexually enticing a minor after a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office investigation.

Richard McLaughlin, Sr, a Boston Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screener, was indicted on Mar. 13, in Ft. Pierce, Florida, for persuading, inducing, enticing or coercing a person less than 18 years of age to engage in sexual activity, and attempting to do so, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2422(b).

According to the indictment and a complaint previously filed in this case, during the course of the investigation, McLaughlin, who worked at Boston's Logan Airport, entered an America Online chat room and began to correspond with an undercover police officer posing as the father of an 11-year-old mentally challenged girl.

In addition to sending the undercover officer several links to websites containing child pornography, McLaughlin expressed his desire to engage in sexual activity with the child. McLaughlin repeatedly directed the undercover officer to engage in sexual activity with the child while McLaughlin listened to the activity over the phone.

McLaughlin also stated that he mailed money to the undercover officer in order to facilitate the purchase of a web camera so that he could watch as the undercover officer sexually molested the fictitious child.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Rinku Talwar.