38-year-old arrested in Broome County following federal undercover operation
CORRECTION | Jacob M. Gorman is a resident of Waverly, in Tioga County. Gorman’s place of residence was incorrect in Wednesday’s edition of The Leader because incorrect information was listed in court documents.
Federal prosecutors have charged a Tioga County man with attempting to engage in sexual acts with a child in Broome County, part of a investigation involving an undercover police officer.
The sting involved a series of text messages in which the undercover officer posed as the parent of a 9-year-old girl.
Jacob M. Gorman, 38, of Waverly, appeared in Binghamton's federal courthouse Friday and remains jailed while awaiting a possible trial.
The federal charge carries a statutory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison -- however, that can change significantly based on sentencing guideline and a judge’s decisions.
The undercover investigation leading to his arrest was detailed by the FBI in court documents, which say it began Aug. 11 with a social networking post online.
That post was made by an undercover law enforcement officer posing as the parent of a 9-year-old girl, court documents said. It used language "commonly associated with individuals looking to find children for sexual purposes."
According to the documents, Gorman allegedly responded later that same day: "No flake here at all. Love the profile info."
Then, he allegedly messaged, "So how do I get a chance?"
The undercover asked Gorman what he was looking for, and he allegedly replied that he loved "the taboo" associated with the potential sexual encounter.
Gorman and the undercover officer discussed payments ranging up to $400, according to court documents. When the officer, again posing as the girl's parent, asked whether Gorman was serious about his intentions, he allegedly answered, "I promise you I am dead serious about it."
Court documents said Gorman and the undercover officer arranged to meet Thursday, and that Gorman would engage in sexual conduct with the child. Once he arrived at a prearranged location in Broome County, officers took him into custody.
During questioning, Gorman allegedly admitted he withdrew $490 from an ATM to use as payment for having sex with a 9-year-old girl.
The acts Gorman intended to commit could have constituted state-level felony counts of first-degree criminal sexual act and first-degree rape, according to the FBI.
Federal authorities on Thursday charged Gorman with a felony count of using a facility and means of interstate and foreign commerce to knowingly attempt to persuade, induce, entice and coerce an individual under 18 to engage in sexual activity.
Per federal policy, no image of Gorman was made available to the media.