NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A school minivan driver was busted by police this week, after allegedly being caught in a sex sting by an NYPD detective pretending to be a 14-year-old girl.
Elliot Provda, 38, of the Lower East Side, was arraigned Friday in Queens Criminal Court on charges of attempted dissemination of indecent material to minors and attempted endangering the welfare of a child, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.
Provda is an independent deliveryman job includes driving a private minivan that transports six children between the ages of 6 and 13 to a private religious school in Manhattan, Brown’s office said.
An NYPD vice detective allegedly caught Provda while operating in his undercover persona as a 14-year-old girl from Queens. The undercover detective allegedly communicated with Provda on multiple occasions between Oct. 1 and this past Wednesday.
Using the screen name EBP212@AOL.com, Provda allegedly sent graphic and sexual messages to the detective posing as 14-year-old girl, including an invitation to meet for sexual activity, Brown’s office said.
Provda was arrested on Thursday, when police executed a warrant at his home and recovered the cell phone with the number he had allegedly provided to the detective in instant messages, Brown’s office said.
“This case underscores the crucial importance of Internet surveillance initiatives by law enforcement to protect children from sexual predators and should serve as a warning to parents to closely monitor their children’s Internet access and activities,” Brown said in a news release. “Despite numerous publicized arrests for exactly this type of alleged behavior, sexual predators continue to be relentless in searching the Internet for victims. Do not let your child become one of them.”
Provda was ordered held on $15,000 bail Friday, Brown’s office said.
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