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Post date: February 4 1999

Dutchess County Man Sentenced In Internet Child Porn Case

A Dutchess County man was sentenced today to six months in county jail, six months of house arrest and five years in a strict sex offenders program after pleading guilty to using his home computer in an attempt to arrange a sexual encounter with a minor.

Attorney General Spitzer said the court decision culminates an outstanding investigation and prosecution. "This is the best outcome in a shocking situation," said Spitzer. "We have stopped an individual who was poised to commit a terrible act."

Timothy Paskell, 35, of Hopewell Junction, was arrested last September in a child pornography internet sting operation run by investigators in the attorney general's office.

America OnLine, the nation's largest internet service, alerted the attorney general's office about unusual activity in Paskell's account. An undercover state investigator began participating in sexually-themed internet chat rooms frequented by Paskell and developed a relationship with him.

During their online association Paskell discussed his desire to have sex with a young girl and actually solicited the investigator's participation in a scheme to lure a young girl into a sexual encounter.

"He was a very scary guy,'‘ said Kelly Flood-Myers, the assistant attorney general who prosecuted the case. "He was like a ticking bomb because he talked about how he had come very close on several occasions to actually following through on his impulses to have sex with young girls."

Paskell pled guilty in Dutchess County Court before judge Thomas Dolan to one count of Promoting the Sexual Performance of a Child, a felony.

When he is released from jail, Paskell will be under house arrest for six months during which he must wear an electronic bracelet to monitor his movements. He must also participate for five years in RISC - Relapse Intervention for Sex Crimes - a tough program including group therapy meetings, one-on-one counseling sessions, strictly monitored movements and a requirement to keep an hourly diary of his activities.

Under New York's Megan's Law regulations, Paskell must register as a sex offender with local authorities wherever he moves. During his five-year probation he is barred from using computers.

Flood-Myers said the decision was one of the toughest sentences for internet porn crimes in state history.