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Chaplain assistant at Fort Drum admits trying to lure boys into sexual activity

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A chaplain assistant at Fort Drum has pleaded guilty to a federal charge that he used his computer to try to lure teenage boys into sexual activity.

Sgt. Jonathan D. McGeoch, 28, pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court, Syracuse, to using a facility and means of interstate commerce for the purpose of enticing minors to engage in sexual activity, the lone count contained in a grand jury indictment handed up against him in November. Sentencing was set for Dec. 5.

According to a criminal complaint accompanying the federal indictment, Mr. McGeoch “friended” a 15-year-old boy via Facebook in August while stationed in Afghanistan. The youth’s mother discovered inappropriate messages and photos from Mr. McGeoch, who was using an alias, and alerted state police in Watertown.

With the mother’s consent, a state police investigator took over the youth’s Facebook account and, posing as the youth, contacted Mr. McGeoch and in subsequent chats, introduced a fictitious 13-year-old boy to the discussion.

According to the complaint, Mr. McGeoch admitted his true identity and discussed engaging in sexual activity with the boys, who he knew were minors.

Mr. McGeoch allegedly set up a camping trip for himself and the boys, arranging to meet them Sept. 16 at a gas station in the town of LeRay. After a series of text messages that day, Mr. McGeoch arrived at the location and was arrested.

According to the complaint, Mr. McGeoch admitted he had sent a nude photo of himself to the child and engaged in sexually explicit chats with the youth and with the investigator he believed to be a second youth. He also allegedly admitted he had traveled to the gas station for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity with the youths.

He has been remanded to U.S. marshals’ custody to await sentencing.

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