PROVIDENCE — A realtor from the East Side of Providence has been found guilty by a federal court jury of attempting to have sex with a 10 year-old girl through contact with a man in Warwick he believed to be the girl’s step-father.
The jury convicted Thomas McLucky Hammond, 52, of one count of attempting to persuade, entice, induce or coerce a minor to engage in illicit sexual activity, announced United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman today.
According to the government’s evidence at trial, in June 2017, Hammond responded to an advertisement in the “casual encounters” section of Craiglsist.com. Over a period of three days, Hammond communicated with a man he believed was the step-father of a 10 year-old girl in Warwick.
Hammond asked the step-father if he was sexually abusing the 10 year-old, and proposed joining in the abuse at a pool party at the family’s residence. Hammond agreed to meet the step-father in a parking lot on Post Road in Warwick before returning to the home for the pool party. When Hammond arrived at the parking lot on June 21, 2017, he was arrested by members of the Rhode Island Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, a federal and state task force designed to investigate and prevent online child sexual exploitation. The purported step-father was actually a member of the ICAC operating undercover, Weisman’s office reported.
At trial, Hammond claimed that he is a gay man with no sexual interest in female children. Hammond testified he receives sexual gratification from talking to straight men who talk about sexually abusing children. Hammond claimed he was merely engaged in sexual fantasy and would not have gone through the sexual activity, Weisman’s office said.
The jury rejected this defense and found Hammond guilty after approximately 3 hours of deliberation
Hammond is scheduled to be sentenced on November 14, 2019, by Chief Judge William E. Smith, who presided over the four-day trial. Hammond is currently detained at the Wyatt Detention Center, according to Weisman’s office.
Attempted enticement of a minor is punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years imprisonment, up to 30 years; lifetime supervised release; and a $250,000 fine.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys John P. McAdams and Christine D. Lowell, with assistance from Assistant United States Attorney Terrence P. Donnelly. It was investigated by the Rhode Island Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, including the Rhode Island State Police and Homeland Security Investigations.