2012-03-21 / Front Page
Convicted Sex Offender Faces Felony Charges
A convicted sex offender who recently relocated from Jefferson Valley to Mahopac is now facing a 15-40 year federal prison term for allegedly distributing child pornography over the internet.
Jonathan DeLaura, 37, appeared in White Plains Federal Court Wednesday afternoon and was accused of possessing an iPod containing 162 sexually explicit videos depicting children engaged in sexual acts with each other.
The latest allegations followed DeLaura’s arrest by the Putnam Sheriff’s Department and Yorktown Police following an incident in Putnam Valley. In the Putnam investigation, Chief Sheriff’s Investigator Gerald Schramek alleged that 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.” DeLaura was arrested by investigators after the suspect believed he was going to meet his next victim in a parking lot off Oscawana Lake Road.
After posting bond in Putnam, DeLaura was arrested two weeks later by Yorktown Police after detectives from both agencies executed a search warrant at the suspect’s residence on East Main Street in Jefferson Valley and seized an electronic device containing what Lt. Richard Malan described as “child pornographic material.”
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara praised the efforts of the Sheriff’s Department and the Putnam District Attorney’s staff as well as Yorktown Police for their investigation: “This case underlines the urgent need for all law enforcement to continue its efforts to protect children from those who prey on them over the internet. My office will use every tool available to prosecute and punish those who allegedly possess and distribute child pornography.”
U.S. District Court Judge George Yanthis ordered that DeLaura be remanded to jail without bail pending the outcome of the case.
Sheriff Don Smith said investigators believe “others may have been victimized by Mr. DeLaura. Anyone having contact with him or his alias Jon Dulak or any of his internet screen names in a social networking chat site is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at 225-8060. All queries will be kept strictly confidential.”
District Attorney Adam Levy said DeLaura not only faces federal prison if found guilty but a lengthy incarceration in state prison due to a host of charges filed in both Putnam and Westchester.