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Area Man Sentenced For Luring Minors To Send Sexually Explicit Photos

Robert J. Garneau, 21, of Orange County in a social media photo before his arrest on federal child pornography charges.
Robert J. Garneau, 21, of Orange County in a social media photo before his arrest on federal child pornography charges. Photo Credit: Provided

A 23-year-old registered sex offender in the Hudson Valley has been sentenced to nearly two decades behind bars after pleading guilty to posing as a child on social media to entice minors for sex.

Geoffrey Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District, announced this week that Robert Garneau of Warwick in Orange County has been sentenced to 16 years in state prison after pleading guilty to three counts of enticement of a minor last May.

According to court documents, from September 2014 through December 2014, Garneau communicated online via Instagram and Kik with a 12-year-old minor in California, convincing her to take sexually explicit photographs for him. On Aug. 10, 2015 and July 18, 2015, Garneau engaged in the same type of activity with two other minors, whose ages were not released.

Berman said that while communicating with his victims, Garneau posed as a minor and threatened his victims that if they did not send additional photos or videos, they would be arrested for the images they’ve already sent. He also threatened to show one of his victim’s Instagram followers the illicit photos.

Following his 16 years in prison, Garneau will be subjected to 15 years of supervised release. He has been remanded into the custody of the Department of Corrections.

“Robert Garneau’s crimes are the nightmare of every modern parent,” Berman said in a statement. “Using everyday social media websites, Garneau exploited minors for his own sexual gratification.  As today’s sentencing underscores, we will continue to use every tool available to law enforcement to prosecute and punish those who sexually exploit children.”

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