A Riverview Towers resident was arrested Tuesday after allegedly attempting to arrange a sexual encounter with a 5-year-old.
Bruce M. Dority, 53 of 232 Washington St., was charged federally with coercion and enticement of a minor as a result of a joint undercover operation that involved the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the St. Lawrence County Sheriffs Office and the Ogdensburg Police Department.
Ogdensburg police initiated the investigation and Homeland Security officials. Sheriffs Department detectives aided the investigation.
Federal court documents state Mr. Dority had asked a woman to help him find a child with whom he could engage in sexual activity. The woman, who was not identified, claimed to be baby-sitting a girl. She reported the request to police and cooperated with the investigation.
Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney John Duncan declined comment on how Mr. Dority knew the woman. It was unclear whether an actual child was ever at risk.
Court documents state that after several recorded phone conversations with the baby-sitter Tuesday evening, he had arranged for her to bring a child to his home and for the woman to wait outside so he could be left alone with the girl. When she arrived at his apartment, he gave her $2,000 and was arrested when he went outside to retrieve the child.
According to court documents, Mr. Dority told agents he intended to fondle the girl and masturbate because he was unsure of his ability to have sexual intercourse at the time. Dority stated he intended to help the girl relax by playing cartoons on his television. When agents entered his apartment, they saw cartoons playing on his television.
He was arraigned Thursday in federal court in Plattsburgh. He could face more charges related to sex trafficking, Ogdensburg police said.
Mr. Duncan declined to give more details about the case, but said a detention hearing is scheduled for Tuesday to determine whether Mr. Dority will be granted bail, held without bail or released under supervision. He said it is too soon to determine whether the case will be presented to a grand jury.
He said he did not know whether Mr. Dority had yet obtained an attorney.