back to article White House sicko sent down for 20 years after sexting underage girls

A US Secret Service agent tasked with protecting the White House has started a 20-year stretch for sending explicit snaps to underage girls – sometimes while on duty. Lee Robert Moore, 38, a uniformed member of the Secret Service, pled guilty in March to charges of enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity and …

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I wonder..

if the rest of the security staff is as well trained in police methods.

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Re: I wonder..

Well, they certainly know where the brothels are in every city.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I wonder..

A security detail officer who does not know that on an Internet dating site all women are men, most men are men and all children are FBI agents...

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Re: I wonder..

I wonder if former congressman weiner will be so heavily punished, he is on the hook for similar activities.

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Anonymous Coward

That seems like rather a long stretch for the crimes as reported. Did he do something else the article didn't cover? That's the kind of sentence you'd see for 2nd degree murder.

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"sending explicit snaps to underage girls – sometimes while on duty."

The secret Service takes dereliction of duty seriously.

If he'd kept it to off duty hours, the sentence might've been lighter.

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It's the USA - they have to send people down for a long time - helps keep the unemployment rate down - more people inside *plus* more people to guard them. Win win!

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I also think that's excessive. More appropriate would be a couple of years in stir, followed by a permanent spot on the sexual offenders register plus a long and closely supervised parole period.

How much does it cost to keep a prisoner in a (for-profit privately run?) US prison these days?

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>>"How much does it cost to keep a prisoner in a (for-profit privately run?) US prison these days?"

According to a report from the Vera Institute the average cost of imprisoning someone in the USA was $31,286 per annum, in 2010. That was seven years ago and it will certainly be significantly higher today. That figure is how much it costs directly, including all services. It does not account for loss of income from an employed member of society such as in this case.

The figure seems off compared to the UK where average cost of imprisonment per year is £40,000 per annum. However, the USA has the highest prison population per capita anywhere in the world barring the Seychelles (where there are only around 80,000 people in total and the place is used to imprison Somali pirates). So maybe the USA just has economy of scale or a more "battery farming" approach to its prisoners.

Regardless, this is a very expensive dick pic. for everyone, except the private companies that run the prisons. For them, it's profit.

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Anonymous Coward

Of course there is more to this story.

Weiner was the husband of Hillary Clinton's aide, Huma Abedin. Clinton is a big proponent of charities benefiting children, so suffice to say that anyone that works closely with the Clintons is going to be around children often.

Weiner is a confirmed paedophile and has a long history of harassment charges, so you could assume that he was probably caught with additional evidence of sexual assault or illicit pornography on his devices. But because he's also friends with people in power he won't get a life sentence, even though most Americans would agree that his history qualifies him to be incarcerated for eternity. They're sticking him with charges on a minor crime, but putting him away long enough to hope that he learns a lesson.

You're damn right it looks odd, though. If I had to guess I'd say the Clintons are deeply involved in this scandal, and they're making a fall guy out of Weiner. In 20 years Slick Willy and Hilly will probably be dead.

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re: That's the kind of sentence you'd see for 2nd degree murder.

Planning to fuck underage girl gets you 20 years in prison...

In Russia, planning to blow up something along the "the more people die the better" lines gets you 11 through 13 years...

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Anonymous Coward

Haha, he didn't even know there are no girls on the internet.

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Anonymous Coward

Wait, what now?

That means I've got to cancel a plane ticket from Russia rather quickly....

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Surely he should know the old phrase

“Welcome to the internet, where the men are men, the women are men, and the children are FBI agents.”

As a defence he should claim that he knew it was not a 14 year old girl, but a cop.

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Anonymous Coward

What's the betting...

Weiner doesn't even get charged, let alone a custodial sentence.

20 years is so far out of proportion it'd be laughable if it wasn't so tragic. He'd probably have received the same sentence for kidnap and raping a girl off the street FFS

Even the younger one could have been married in many parts of the world*

*Slovenia or Trinidad for instance, before the howls of singling out any one religion start.

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Re: What's the betting...

20 years is not out of proportion, it's just a good start and probably he would prefer it to an angry dad getting hold of him.

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Re: What's the betting...

The thing is werdsmith, when punishment is out of proportion for the crime, the criminals say "fuck it, if I'm going to get 20 years just for sending a dick pic, I may as well actually......."

Case in point, great train robbery. They didn't use any guns in the robbery but still got a stiff sentence (no pun intended), a sentence that they would have got if they had used guns, so if you're going to get a sentence that you would get if you took a gun, you may as well take a gun.

What the article doesn't make clear is if the agent was black, if he was then 20 years seems par for the course in the American "justice" system.

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Re: What's the betting...

I think the problem is that he was an officer of the law and committing crime when you are (1) supposed to be serving the law and (2) getting to do (1) is viewed very dimly.

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Re: What's the betting...

Think you have your geography a bit mixed up with regards to Slovenia.

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Re: What's the betting...

There is the thought as well if he did a pic whilst on duty they may be slapping him a bit for dereliction of said duty? Also they may be a bit upset about agents in secure places (even if he wasn't at the time) being so free and easy with their phones and photos? Might explain why they have slapped such a large sentence on him.

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Re: What's the betting...

Slovenia or Trinidad! You don't have to go that far. Heck with parental consent you can get down to 16 in most U.S. states and if a court approves you can get even lower. It looks like the lowest bar is 12 for females and 14 for males in Mass but some states like Cali have no lower limit according to LII at Cornell.

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Re: What's the betting...

Up until 2013 in the Vatican City the Age Of Consent was 12. I'm not making that up http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/vatican-city-raises-age-consent-12-18-following-scandals120713/

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Re: he would prefer it to an angry dad getting hold of him

by an angry dad of the said FBI officer you mean? Yea, that would be gross methinks...

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Entrapment?

Kept him talking for 2 months.

And where do Delaware cops learn to chat like 14-year old girls?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Entrapment?

The premise of the "Red Dragon" novels - and the later Hannibal Lector novels/films - reflects the old adage of "set a thief to catch a thief". It is not uncommon in matters of law breaking to find the "poacher turned gamekeeper" or vice versa.

Prurience appears to be a factor in many who strongly condemn certain sexual behaviours in others.

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Re: Entrapment?

"Delaware Child Predator Task Force"

Is it me, or shouldn't it be named something like Anti Child Predator [generic term LEOs think sounds cool]?

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Anonymous Coward

Secret service?

"a uniformed member of the Secret Service"

Not all that secret then.

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Anonymous Coward

Yuuge more than sad... probably.

Sorry.

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This post has been deleted by a moderator

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Re: Twenty years? Jesus Christ.

"Willing and encouraging teenagers". A 14 year old is legally a child. She or he hasn't the adult judgement to know the seriousness of what they are doing. Yes, children know about ethics and morals, but in the teenage years their judgement goes awry. And no adult is EVER the victim of a child.

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Re: Twenty years? Jesus Christ.

>>"A 14 year old is legally a child."

Agreed. Also agreed if you want to raise it that the law has been broken. However, I prefer not to use the law as my starting point for whether something is harmful or not. (See for example Ecstacy and Heroin being the same class of drugs.

>>She or he hasn't the adult judgement to know the seriousness of what they are doing

Well, often they don't. But sometimes they do. The law rightly errs on the side of caution but there's many a fourteen year old who is more sensible and informed than most sixteen year olds (the age of consent in most of Europe). The suggestion is that these two girls will be psychologically damaged. I think that's unlikely given they were willing participants. Further, your comment assumes that they don't know "the seriousness of what they are doing." But is sex really that serious a thing? It's a risk, but is it serious? The distinction is important because the point being argued is that they will be psychologically harmed by sexting, not that meeting up with a stranger (which we don't know if they ever even intended to do) is dangerous. What makes swapping flirty texts and images inherently "serious". Maybe they were serious - maybe he was leading them on thinking it was a serious romance. But equally possible they knew exactly what it was about which was sexy flirting. We don't know. Outside of the risks of meeting up or stalking - which weren't the case here - what is so serious about sexting that it means they'll suffer psychological harm?

Again, I think it's necessary to point out that I'm not advocating or condoning a man in his thirties flirting with a 14 or 17 year old girl. But I am arguing the notion that it's not traumatising to the younger party when they are a willing participant and there aren't significant accompanying factors that make it traumatising.

>>And no adult is EVER the victim of a child.

I think that's rather too black and white. This isn't paedophilia (pre-pubescents) in which case I would agree with you. It's ephebophilia (attraction to later adolescents). Or as a male friend of mine indelicately put it: "Ephebophilia is what you shouldn't do, paedophilia is what you shouldn't want." A girl of fourteen (and especially one of seventeen) may not be an adult, but they're not a child either, regardless of what the law says. They're, well, an adolescent. Which is to say an adult with bad judgement. It's not always the case that an adult and a teenager have significantly more power concentrated in the adult. And it's equally not the case that the adult is the more ethical. It is entirely possible for a teenager to make an adult their victim. Entrapment is possible. People are fallible and that fallibility (sexual attraction) can be exploited. It can be exploited by adults and it can be exploited by teenagers. I think this last statement of yours therefore, is very misguided. Sexual relations can be very complex things. Therefore statements that an adult can never be a victim of a teenager, are wrong.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Twenty years? Jesus Christ.

"A 14 year old is legally a child. She or he hasn't the adult judgement to know the seriousness of what they are doing."

Yet many states in the USA apparently permit marriage as young as 13 with parental/judicial approval - no matter what the state's nominal higher legal threshold.

https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/table_marriage

Even last week the Governor of New Jersey refused to sign into a law a passed bill that would have removed judicial exemptions that permit under-age marriage. The bill proposed a strict threshold of 18. Therefore the threshold remains subject to judicial overrides down to a possibly unspecified lower age.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/new-jersey-chris-christie-child-marriage-ban-fails-religious-custom-a7735616.html

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Twenty years? Jesus Christ.

"And no adult is EVER the victim of a child."

The number of adults murdered by young gang members suggests to me that you're wrong.

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Anonymous Coward

A tad harsh

Locally murderers tend to get 10 years.

So getting 20 years for electronic messages to someone misrepresenting themselves is seriously difficult to wrap the gray matter around. I expect we are missing a good portion of the story.

Mind you these days, electronically respond to crims, they'll snatch years of your money.

Electronically respond to the authorities and they will snatch years of your life!

So what does that make The Register?

(end of week, my brain is fried. It can't handle these concepts anymore! Where's the nearest alcohol! )

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Anonymous Coward

I see there are some that disagree with the length of the sentence.

Let me put it in a way that people understand why.

As an adult you don't mess with children in a sexual way and there is good reason for that. At 14 you are naive and don't understand fully what it is to be an adult or how to manage an adult relationship. Anyone that chooses to try and engage with a child is doing so for their own gratification and potentially messing the child up for life.

I believe the 20 year sentence is proportionate as it sends out a clear message that if you choose to behave in this manner you will go to prison and even more so if you work in a job that demands respect of the law.

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Anonymous Coward

Anonymous Coward you think 20 years is appropriate. What do you think is reasonable for attacking or killing that 14 year old girl (or the police officer for that matter)?

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Anonymous Coward

"At 14 you are naive and don't understand fully what it is to be an adult or how to manage an adult relationship."

A recent attempt to remove under-age marriage legal exemptions in New Jersey failed when the Governor refused to sign it into law. The current threshold is 16 but a judge can allow it at a lower age.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/new-jersey-chris-christie-child-marriage-ban-fails-religious-custom-a7735616.html

In general the USA states have a lower limit of about 13 for marriage - usually in exceptional circumstances like pregnancy.

This table appears to show the marriage age threshold for US states in 1999 - with some later amendments. It might not fully reflect the current situation in all states.

Notable are:

Massachusetts- Title III, Chapter 207 Male-14 k Female-12

New Hampshire- Title 43, Chapter 457 Male- 14 v Female- 13 v

(k)(v) Parental consent and/or permission of judge required.

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Anonymous Coward

20 years is appropriate.

You digress with attacking or killing. Which is worse? killing a child or leaving them to a life where they can't have relationships because some git used them.

downvote as you want but I live in the real world,

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>>"You digress with attacking or killing. Which is worse? killing a child or leaving them to a life where they can't have relationships because some git used them."

I highly doubt those corresponding will be unable to "have relationships" because of sexting. One was 14, one was 17, and the third was a 32 year old FBI man. ;)

Now without details, there is a wide range of possible circumstances but there's nothing in the story to suggest that it was harassment or traumatic for the two girls (one of which would be over the age of consent anywhere in Europe, btw).

I don't know how long it's been since you were a fourteen year old girl but at that point attraction to older men is not uncommon. If she felt anything genuine towards this man, then learning he's been sentenced to twenty years for sexting with her is probably going to upset her more than a dick pic ever did.

Now none of this is suggesting that it is a good idea or right for a man in his thirties to be flirting with a girl of 14. It isn't for several reasons. But it is saying that you're wrong to assume that the girl is likely to be damaged psychologically or unable to be willing or even actively encouraging. Given what is said about the ongoing sexting, it presumably wasn't one sided as the two girls didn't just block him. As it never even made it to the point of following through (which we don't know if he would have or not and in one case it would be legal in Europe anyway), they were probably fine with it and it is unlikely to be traumatised.

This sentence has more to do with (a) American puritanism and (b) his being a Secret Service agent which invites a super harsh sentence as a means of deflecting damage to the organisation's reputation.

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Fun fact: A Texan man was once prevented from marrying his horse because the horse was under four years old which state law forbade.

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Childcatcher

"Which is worse? killing a child or leaving them to a life where they can't have relationships because some git used them."

keep in mind, 'sexting' isn't rape. It's obnoxious, inappropriate, and all of those things, certainly. I would've guessed 5 years in jail would have been more appropriate. The man's career will be ruined, his name would be on a register of sex offenders, and so on.

I think the SJW's and in particular certain feminist and/or religious groups have gone way off the deep end, and are too busy screaming and pointing fingers and being righteously indignant "for the children" again.

When I was 10 I used to read playboy magazines [like every other 10 year old]. Big whoop. I liked the jokes the best. Centerfolds bored me. Maybe that's why I'm not a real fan of porn now. I got accustomed to it to the point of "meh". I'm not permanently damaged as a result.

So let's say a 14 year old kid is getting her kicks having some old guy send naked pics and talking dirty to her. I bet half of it is 'for the lulz' and the other half is just being rebellious. Sure it should be a crime for the old guy to send/do that stuff, but 20 years in jail for that? It's not like he met the girl and then raped her... or got her to take pics of herself and then spread them around on the dark web.

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Anonymous Coward

"I think the SJW's and in particular certain feminist and/or religious groups have gone way off the deep end"

The Governor of New Jersey last week refused to sign a bill into law. It would have stopped marriage for anyone under 18. The default position still allows a judicial override in specific cases with an apparently unspecified lower age. Apparently between 1995 and 2012, 163 children aged between the ages of 13 and 15 were given judicial approval to get married in New Jersey.

The interesting thing was that the governor said his veto was partly in support of "religious custom".

This article makes a further claim:

"Actually, let’s not say children. Let’s say girls, because that’s who this is happening to. And let’s be very honest about the fact that the men these girls’ parents are “consenting” for them to marry are very much men, often decades older than the wives offered up to them."

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Facepalm

I believe the 20 year sentence is proportionate as it sends out a clear message

You may tweet this merrily when it doesn't concern you, little birdie, but we'd see how you voice changes when govt makes An Example out of you.

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Anonymous Coward

Execution

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Lock him out, lock him out!

Yes, the one everybody is thinking about

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 20 years is appropriate.

AC you Puritanical twat! You "live in the real world" don't make me laugh, according to you he's ruined the lives of a 15 & 17 year old because he sent a dick pick!?

At 15 I would have followed in the footsteps of The Bull Buggering Bishop of Bath and Wells, given half a chance. And 17 is above the age of consent in the majority of the world.

If you have a 15 year old daughter you need to wake the fuck up, cos I can bet she's seen more dicks than her father. You do know "girls" watch porn too? Not just you after the missus has gone to bed

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 20 years is appropriate.

"If you have a 15 year old daughter you need to wake the fuck up, cos I can bet she's seen more dicks than her father. "

That reminds me of a barbeque I gave for all my neighbours many years ago - long before the internet. At one point in the evening I had to gently remonstrate with a neighbour's 15 year old daughter for sticking pink "blue tack" erect penises on a couple of framed pictures in the house. She was a pupil at the local Catholic school - and lived up to that "convent schoolgirl" reputation by blithely saying "I've seen more of them than you have had hot dinners".

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 20 years is appropriate.

Puritanical twat?

I may be a bit late back to the party here but are you all really that thick?

Which fucking planet do you all live on?

Where do you actually think that "sexting" is going to lead?

Oh he sent a dick pic, whats the intent? Harmless fun?

There's the real world, the one I live in. The one where there are people that abuse and use. The one where things like this are just the start.

Again, please feel free to down vote, I really don't care and I'm appalled by the attitude of some people to what is essentially abuse of minors. Sure maybe 9 out of 10 14 year olds ain't gonna fall for that shit and may be emotionally mature to handle it but there's also the 1 in 10 that need protecting from people like this but then again I'm a puritanical twat so lets just ignore them.

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PTW

@h4rm0ny

Have an upvote and a beer! Someone from the real world, how very novel in these times :-)

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Coat

Not related to me!

And can we please just drop his middle name.

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