A Wilmington, Delaware man is facing eight years behind bars for crossing state lines to Pennsylvania to have sex with whom he believed was a 14-year-old girl but was actually an undercover agent, authorities said.
Thomas Traumann, 53, began an online chat relationship through a social media website with the "girl" on Nov. 3, 2018, according to Acting United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams.
Traumann repeatedly acknowledged that the “girl” was 14-years-old and made his intentions quite clear that he wanted to have a sexual encounter with her days later, Williams said.
He also knew what he was proposing was against the law, stating in part, “…I am a little concerned … I will go to jail because of your age," Williams said.
When Traumann traveled by car to meet up with the "girl" near "her" house in Pennsylvania on Nov. 5, 2018, he was taken into custody by law enforcement, Williams said.
“This defendant traveled here from out-of-state and was prepared to sexually assault a young, vulnerable child,” Williams said.
“I shudder to think what would have happened had Traumann connected online with an actual child rather than an undercover agent. We are grateful to our federal, state, and local partners who work relentlessly to identify and stop all those who would prey upon minor children.”
Traumann pleaded guilty to one count of interstate travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct in October 2020.
He was subsequently sentenced to eight years and three months in prison, ten years of supervised release, and a $25,000 fine by United States District Court Judge Gene E.K. Pratter.
The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Josh A. Davison.
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