Sexual predators on the internet, Richard Morgan of Dover

Richard Morgan, as far as anyone knew, was a 26 year old man living in Dover, Delaware who apparently liked Star Trek and frequented a particular Star Trek gaming site. He was acquaintances with a Jonathan Sevieri of Canton, Massachusetts from the Star Trek site. Morgan also spoke with a fourteen year old unnamed girl on a social networking site.
On March 27, 2010 that girl went missing from her home in Peabody, Massachusetts. Police seized the computers in the home and as it was believed she had fled to Florida to be with someone she had met on a social networking site. It seems the police and family had the right idea, just the wrong location. She was found in Dover with Richard Morgan. It is alleged that Morgan could not afford a train ticket to bring the girl to him, and so he asked Sevieri to drive her to him.
Most websites ask for a birth date and year upon registration. Although it is unsure whether the unnamed female lied regarding her age, it is alleged Morgan knew she lived with her parents. Sevieri is being charged with child enticement while Morgan hasnumerous charges, including second-degree rape and being held on $31,000 bail.
The first charge of child enticement, as of 2006, is enforced in 42 states, including both Massachusetts and Delaware. These laws specifically make “online enticement of a child for sexual activity a crime by using the Internet or electronic communication.” It can be a felony in all states, but depends on the age of the child and this area varies by state.
In Delaware, Morgan faces at least a class C felony. Second-degree rape in Delaware is to “sexually penetrate a person under age 12 if the actor is 18 or older.” This crime is punishable by up to 20 years in prison with a 10 year minimum. If the child had been two years younger the punishment would be 15 years to life in prison.
The police involved in the search recommended parents monitor more closely their children’s internet usage. Many children with access to the internet seem to underestimate the nature of some of the predators using the same social sites. Currently there are no laws in Delaware excluding sexual predators from using social networking sites. Parents and their children are urged to keep this fact in mind. Parents are strongly urged to keep computers in a public room in the house while watching closely for pornography or other graphic material which may be sent to their children by someone with sinister motives. While the first amendment and freedom of speech is extremely important in regards to the internet parents still need to ensure the safety of their children.

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2 thoughts on “Sexual predators on the internet, Richard Morgan of Dover

  1. I’m not going to defend Morgan, but I’ll say that we, as a society, give too much leeway to the “victims” in these kinds of situations. While 14-year-olds are not adults, I place this age group in a separate category than children, simply because many girls aged 13-15 are (unfortunately) sexually active. It seems that this girl was. Today’s teenagers have grown up with the Internet, and know not to meet up with strangers, just as yesterday’s children knew not to talk to or accept rides with strangers. I would feel much more sympathetic if she was a couple of years younger, but I think she knew exactly what she was doing, and got burnt. Which does not make Morgan any less wrong or guilty; he also knew exactly what he was doing, and knew what the stakes would be if he got caught.

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