PROVIDENCE – A New York man admitted to a federal court judge in Providence today to befriending and exchanging sexual images and messages online with a RI boy, and having repeated sex with the minor.
Caleb Brown, 24, and the 15-year-old were discovered by Warwick Police in a baseball field dugout in August 2019, after a concerned citizen reported to police that a male was observed living in the dugout with what appeared to be a minor.
Warwick officers arrived at the park Brown and the boy began to run away, but were quickly halted. Brown initially identified himself to police as “Clay Connors,” according to information presented to the court.
After placing Brown in a police cruiser, the 15-year-old told police he met Brown online approximately six months prior and that he had been dating Brown for that period of time. The youngster told police that he had been spending nights outside with Brown, while telling his parent’s he was staying at a friend’s house.
Prior to traveling to Rhode Island from Bronx, New York, by bus to meet up with the 15-year-old in July 2019, Brown and the victim engaged in sexually explicit online communications and exchanged sexually explicit images. Officers viewed a steady stream of intimate and sexually explicit text messages between Brown and the boy.
The text messages also revealed discussions of where the two should meet and sleep, and Brown advising the youngster with ways to conceal the true nature of their relationship. For example, a text sent by Brown to the 15-year-old on Aug. 8, 2019 read: “Just chill somewhere close. We need to come up with a code or protocol for this (expletive) cause I don’t want the whole town trying to figure us out.”
Investigators also discovered 12 videos taken by Brown of him engaged in sexual contact with the victim.
Appearing today before Mary S. McElroy, Brown pleaded guilty to travelling with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct, announced United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman and Warwick Police Chief Colonel Rick Rathbun.
At sentencing on Dec. 17, 2020, according to a plea agreement filed in this matter, the defendant faces a sentence of 60 months of incarceration.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lee H. Vilker.
United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman and Warwick Police Chief Colonel Rick Rathbun thank the FBI and the Rhode Island State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force for their assistance in the investigation of this matter.