A 61-year-old Barrington man was sentenced to five years in prison this week, after admitting he sent a webcam to who he believed was an 11-year-old girl so she could forward him sexually explicit images of herself.
A federal judge in Albuquerque, N.M. also sentenced Jerrold Wexler to 10 years on supervised release after serving his prison time. Wexler also will be required to register as a sex offender as a result of his conviction for attempted receipt of a visual depiction of a minor.
Federal authorities say Wexler met the girl -- in reality an undercover officer from the Curry County Sheriff's Office in Clovis, N.M. -- in an online chat room and began an email and text messaging relationship that lasted about six months.
Wexler, according to the FBI, repeatedly asked the officer for sexually explicit photos and described the sexual acts he wanted to perform on the "girl." After the officer received a webcam from Wexler, authorities said, officers executed a search warrant at his residence and seized computers and computer-related media.
The items contained evidence of Wexler's communication with the officer, as well as "chats" with others online who stated that they were girls under the age of 18, the FBI said.
In his plea agreement, Wexler admitted that on July 30, 2010 he began an online relationship that was sexual in nature with the undercover officer posing as an 11-year-old girl. Wexler admitted asking the "girl" to send nude photographs of herself to him at his private email account.
After the officer posing as the girl expressed an interest in a webcam, Wexler admitted sending one to an address provided by the officer.
The investigation was conducted by the Curry County Sheriff's Office, the Albuquerque and Chicago divisions of the FBI, the U.S. Postal Service and the New Mexico Regional Computer Forensic Lab. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Charlyn E. Rees.
The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat child sexual exploitation and abuse.