Sex Offender on Parole Busted in Putnam Valley
The Putnam Sheriff's Department announced the arrest Friday of Jonathan DeLaura of Jefferson Valley in connection with the case.
According to Chief Investigator Gerald Schramek, DeLaura used the Internet to meet underage children through social networking chat rooms: "The suspect, who used screen names 'Silly Rabbit,' 'Riddler Boy' and 'Damastrynd,' would pose as a 17-year-old girl in order to meet young boys. After engaging in sexual explicit conversations with the teens, he requested that they send him sexually oriented photographs and when they did he would reveal that he was a man. Demanding a meeting to engage in sexual acts, DeLaura would use the conversations and photos to extort his victims warning that he would go to police or the youth's family."
Schramek said DeLaura had recently arranged to meet a minor for sexual gratification.
On Friday morning at 12:15 a.m., DeLaura was arrested by investigators as he sat in his car parked in a business lot in Putnam Valley after the suspect believed he was going to meet his next victim. Instead two investigators were waiting and placed him under arrest.
DeLaura was charged with Criminal Sexual Act and endangering the welfare of a child. He was arraigned by Putnam Valley Justice Gina Capone and was remanded to the Putnam Correctional Facility in lieu of $150,000 bail pending a Feb. 28 hearing.
District Attorney Adam Levy said the crimes were Class E felonies each carrying a maximum four year state prison term if found guilty.
Police also seized DeLaura's vehicle, cell phone, electronic and camera equipment along with a laptop computer. Since his car was allegedly used in the commission of the felony crimes it is being held and is subject to asset forfeiture proceedings.
The New York State Sex Offender Registry indicated that DeLaura was convicted in October, 2009 in the Bronx for sexual misconduct. In that case he reportedly engaged in sexual contact with a 12-year old boy.
Schramek theorized that other victims may have fallen prey to DeLaura: "Anyone having contact with Mr. DeLaura's screen names in a social networking site are encouraged to call the Sheriff's Department B.C.I. by phoning 225-8060. All calls will be kept confidential."