Thursday, April 29, 2004

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Attorney General Abbott's Cyber Crimes Prosecutors Win 5-Year Sentence For Child Predator

AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s Cyber Crimes prosecutors and officials from the U.S. Attorney’s Office were in federal district court in Austin today for the sentencing of convicted child predator Srinath Audityan, 30, of Austin.

Audityan, who was convicted of coercion and child enticement following a jury trial in January, was given a five-year sentence by U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel.


Srinath Audityan

Audityan was arrested last June 13 when he showed up in San Marcos to meet whom he thought was be a 13-year-old girl he had solicited in an Internet chat room. In reality, he had been chatting with a Cyber Crimes Unit investigator impersonating the girl.

“In both state and federal cases against child predators, it is clear that juries are willing to hear the facts and impose punishment that fits these heinous attempts to abuse children,” said Attorney General Abbott. “We are looking forward to presenting future cases to juries and obtaining justice for these crimes.”

After plea negotiations with Audityan broke down last June, Cyber Crimes prosecutor Grant Sparks was given the approval to proceed with a federal prosecution through the offices of U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton.

Audityan was the second individual arrested for attempting to meet children for sex after Attorney General Abbott launched the Cyber Crimes Unit last May. Audityan formerly worked for Motorola Austin as a computer engineer.

The first man arrested by the unit, James Steven Thornton Jr., 27, of Lampasas, is now serving a 40-year sentence after pleading guilty to attempting to meet a teenager last May in Bee Cave near Austin.

Of the 43 men arrested by the Cyber Crimes Unit since last May for these offenses, six have been convicted and sentenced.