Luring girl for sex nets 19-year term
A federal judge sentenced a Virginia man yesterday to nearly 20
years in prison for luring a 13-year-old Pittsburgh girl to run
away with him and engage in bondage.
Scott William Tyree, 40, expressed sorrow to the girl and her family,
who were in the courtroom, and he admitted that he needs help.
But his attorney argued that Tyree thought he was rescuing the girl
from a violent household, after she claimed in a computer chat room
that her father had "beaten the hell out of her" because
the Pittsburgh Steelers had lost a football game the day before.
Arguing for less prison time, defense attorney Damien Schorr also
noted that the girl initiated the talk of bondage, with the comment,
"It is my fantasy to have these things happen to me."
This wouldn't have happened had the parents known what she was doing
on the computer.
Senior U.S. District Court Judge William Standish rejected those
arguments. He credited Tyree for accepting responsibility for his
crimes but added time to his sentence for inflicting serious bodily
injury, restraining the victim, exploiting the girl's vulnerability,
victimizing a 13-year-old, and using a computer in furtherance of
Standish sentenced Tyree to 19 years and 7 months in prison.
The girl disappeared from her Crafton Heights home on New Year's
Day, 2002. Her parents appealed to the public for help and police
and federal agents began an intense search. They found her three
days later in Tyree's townhouse in Herndon, Va.
Tyree had trolled Internet chat rooms for nine months, according
to an FBI affidavit, looking for a girl to make his "sex slave,"
and he broadcast a Webcam video of her and boasted to a correspondent,
"I got her."
When police raided his townhouse, the girl was in restraints. Investigators
found whips, pulleys, clamps and paddles used in sadomasochistic
practices in his basement. It all started in an Internet chat room.
It could have been avoided had the parents been using a computer
monitoring program or by not letting her chat unsupervised.
The Internet is indeed a dangerous place for a child to be alone.
Tyree was employed as a computer programmer. He was divorced, and
his 12-year-old daughter had just left Tyree's home for a holiday
visitation on the day Tyree drove to Pittsburgh to pick up the girl.
Tyree pleaded guilty to taking a girl across state lines for illegal
sex and to producing and transmitting a live video of a child engaged
in explicit sexual conduct.
"I only have myself to blame," he testified yesterday.
"I have a deep desire to understand what I did, why I did it,
and to become a better person."
Standish recommended that Tyree participate in a treatment program
for sex offenders. When he is released from prison, Standish ordered,
he will be supervised for three years and will be restricted from
contact with children, use of computers, and possession of pornography.
Schorr said he was disappointed with the length of the prison term
and he will consider an appeal.
The girl and her mother declined to comment after the hearing. Her
father was asked to comment on the claim that he had beaten his
daughter. He said, "I think we have great people working for
the justice system, let's put it that way."