2009-04-10 / Top Stories

Rockaway Park Child Predator Convicted

Used Web to Threaten Teen

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown announced today that a former Queens resident who admitted last month to engaging in sexually explicit electronic communications with a 13- yearold girl in Massachusetts has been sentenced to five to fifteen years in prison, the maximum term of imprisonment.

The District Attorney added that his office also obtained felony convictions against two Brooklyn men who, in separate cases, used the Internet to try and lure undercover detectives posing as 14-year-old Queens girls to meet for sexual relations.

District Attorney Brown said, "These cases underscore the importance of Internet surveillance initiatives by law enforcement to protect children from sexual predators and should serve as a warning to parents to closely monitor their children's Internet access and activities. The Internet goes far beyond the boundaries of one's neighborhood and can unlock the door for sexual predators to gain access to young children."

The District Attorney identified the defendant in the first case as Philip Hawthorne, 28, of 746 West Thames Street in Norwich, Connecticut. Hawthorne, who is unemployed, formerly lived at 140 Beach 123rd Street and 224 Beach 97th Street, both in Rockaway Park, Queens. Hawthorne, who pleaded guilty on March 19, 2009, to the felony crime of use of a child in a sexual performance, was sentenced yesterday before Acting Queens Supreme Court Justice Ira Margulis to the indeterminate sentence of five to fifteen years in prison. At sentencing, Hawthorne was also ordered to forfeit his computer and a final order of protection was issued for the 13-year-old victim.

District Attorney Brown said that, according to the charges, Hawthorne began communicating with a 13-yearold Massachusetts girl in November 2007 on an Internet social networking site by using the screen name "ballin4lyfe1237@aim.com" and pretending to be a 16- year-old Boston teenager named Keith. During the course of their conversations, the girl provided "Keith" with personal information, such as where she resided and went to school, and the names of her parents and, in turn, Hawthorne convinced the girl to send him naked pictures of herself, as well as a video of herself in which she was naked and exhibiting her genital and anal areas.

He then asked the young girl to make another video of herself performing deviant acts, some of which were concerned with the bathroom and with performing in front of the camera.

When she refused he threatened to send the first video to her Massachusetts school and told her she would be taken away from her parents because of her sexual acts.

He conducted the instant message conversations while living on Beach 123 Street in Rockaway Park, actions which gave the Queens District Attorney jurisdiction in the case..

District Attorney Brown also noted that Hawthorne will be required to register as a sex offenderf after he completes his sentence. That will require that his name and photo be sent to local precincts and that local schools in the neighborhood where he lives will be notified that he is close by.

The investigations were conducted by the NYPD'sComputer Crime Squad and its Vice Enforcement Division, and by the District Attorney's Detective Bureau.

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