Thursday, January 10, 2008

Repeat Sex Offender Gets 10 Years

ENFIELD — - A local man was sentenced by a federal judge to more than 10 years in prison for attempting to entice a minor into sex through the Internet and possessing child pornography, U.S. Attorney Kevin O'Connor said MondayJoseph Cote, 52, of 14 Linda Lane, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Mark R. Kravitz in New Haven to 123 months in prison, followed by 10 years of supervised release.

Cote pleaded guilty Oct. 19 to one count of attempting to entice a minor to engage in sexual activity and one count of possession of child pornography.

He was arrested in November 2006 after police said he engaged in numerous online conversations with people he believed to be under the age of 16, but who were actually police officers from Vermont and Connecticut.During one of the conversations, Cote arranged to meet a Milford police officer, who was posing as a 14-year-old girl, at a coffee shop for sex, O'Connor said. Cote was arrested when he arrived at the shop.

Police subsequently found up to 20 images on Cote's computer depicting minors, two of which involved pre-pubescent minors, engaged in sexually explicit activity.Cote, who was released on $300,000 bail following his arrest, was arrested again in May after he violated the terms of his release and used a computer to chat with a Newtown officer posing as a girl under the age of 18.

During the conversation, Cote told the Newtown officer that he had been arrested for trying to meet a girl and his computer was confiscated, but that he "got a new one." At one point during the conversation, Cote also asked, "Do you have any condoms?"Since his arrest by the Connecticut Computer Crimes Task Force in May, Cote has been detained and his bail revoked.

On Monday, Kravitz sentenced Cote to the mandatory minimum prison term of 10 years for attempting to entice a minor to engage in sexual activity, a concurrent 10-year term for possessing child pornography and an additional three months in prison for violating the terms of his bail.Cote will be required to register as a sex offender upon his release from prison.

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