United States Attorney's Office for the Western District of New York

09/24/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/24/2020 15:51

Albany County Man Arrested, Charged With Attempted Enticement Of A Minor

CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE: (716) 843-5817
FAX #: (716) 551-3051

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Vernon Schermerhorn III, 51, of Coeymans Hollow, NY, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with attempted enticement of a minor. The charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years in prison, and a maximum of 30 years.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle P. Rossi, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, in September 2019, the defendant engaged in conversation on a teen chat website with a person he believed to be a 13 year old girl. The person was actually an undercover FBI Special Agent. As the conversation continued, the chat turned sexual in nature. 'Brandon2901,' later identified as Schermerhorn, stated, 'i am married but would like see u if u wanted and (expletive).' The Agent responded with, 'that wud be cool.' While discussing what they would do together, the Agent said, 'I don't wanna get preggo!!' Schermerhorn responded, 'its ok if u even did i got plan b pills or abortion i got a friend thats a doc.' The defendant also stated, 'i got allot of cop friends to so we are cool.' Schermerhorn also asked the Agent multiple times to send naked photos.

Subsequent investigation determined that the defendant is a registered sex offender, who was convicted in 2003 in New York State Court of disseminating indecent material to a minor via computer for sexual contact. Schermerhorn was sentenced to 10 years' probation.

The complaint is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Stephen Belongia, and the New York State Police, under the direction of Acting Major Barry Chase.

The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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