Posted on Leave a comment

Merchant Admits Seeking Sex with Minor in Warwick, Transporting Child Porn

[CREDIT: RI State Police] Christopher Merchant, 33, of 259 Water St., Canterbury, CT, a vice president and coach with the Plainfield Little League in Plainfield, CT
[CREDIT: RI State Police] Christopher Merchant, 33, of 259 Water St., Canterbury, CT, a vice president and coach with the Plainfield Little League in Plainfield, CT
[CREDIT: RI State Police] Christopher Merchant, 33, of 259 Water St., Canterbury, CT, a vice president and coach with the Plainfield Little League in Plainfield, CT

PROVIDENCE — Christopher L. Merchant, 33, of Canterbury, Conn.,charged with soliciting a 14-year-old boyfor sex at a Warwick hotel in January,

pleaded guilty in federal court in Providence Wednesday to travel in interstate commerce with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct and transporting child pornography.

The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman.

Members of the Rhode Island State Police Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force arrested Merchant Jan. 25, 2019, and charged in Rhode Island state court with indecent solicitation of a child and with disseminating and possessing child pornography, according to Weisman’s office.

Appearing in U.S. District Court in Providence, Christopher L. Merchant, 33, of Canterbury, Conn., admitted that on numerous occasions he communicated via social media with an individual he believed to be a 14-year-old boy. The communications rapidly turned sexually graphic. Merchant admitted that during the exchanges he arranged to meet with the boy at a Warwick hotel to engage in illicit sexual

NOW, CHECK OUT THIS:
Bear Sighted In Warwick, DEM Advises Removing Bird Feeders
activity. Merchant also admitted to sending obscene photographs to the person with whom he was communicating, Weisman’s office reported.

Merchant was in fact communicating with a member of law enforcement assigned to the ICAC Task Force. Upon his arrival at the hotel on January 25, 2019, Merchant was arrested by members of the ICAC Task Force. A review of his cell phone revealed images of child pornography stored in the phone.

Merchant was held on state charges at the ACI until posting bail on January 28. He was re-arrested on a federal arrest warrant two days after his release from the ACI. He was arraigned in federal court and released on $10,000 unsecured bond, according to Weisman’s office.

Merchant is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Court Chief Judge William E. Smith on June 28, 2019.

Travel in interstate commerce with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct is punishable by statutory penalties of up to 30 years in federal prison, a term

NOW, CHECK OUT THIS:
Hasbro Pediatric Sleep Tech Faces Child Porn Charges
of supervised release of 5 years to life, and a mandatory$5,000 special assessment imposed as required bythe Justice for Victims Trafficking Actin child sexual exploitation cases where the Court makes a finding that the defendant is not indigent, Weisman’s office reported.

Transporting child pornography is punishable by statutory penalties of up to 20 years imprisonment, with a mandatory 5 years imprisonment, a term of supervised release of 5 years to life,and a mandatory$5,000 special assessment imposed as required bythe Justice for Victims Trafficking Actin child sexual exploitation cases where the Court makes a finding that the defendant is not indigent, Weisman’s office reported.