By Tien-Shun Lee
In an undercover sting operation, a Kew Gardens man was charged with engaging in sexually explicit conversations with a police detective who posed online as girls between the ages of 11 and 14, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.
John Woods, 35, of 85-18 118th St. allegedly used a chat room called “I Love Much Older Men” to communicate with the undercover detective in 10 separate instances, said the DA.
Woods allegedly initiated his on-line conversations by asking questions, including “How old are you?”, “Are you home alone?” and “What are you wearing?” said Brown.
Woods was arrested at his home last Thursday and charged with disseminating indecent material to minors and endangering the welfare of a child, said Brown. He faces up to four years in prison if convicted.
Woods' computer was seized by detectives who executed a court authorized search of his home, said Brown.
“The defendant used an Internet chat room to prey upon young girls for the purpose of sexual attraction and gratification,” said Brown. “This case, once again, underscores the critical need of parents to closely monitor and supervise Internet use by their children in order to protect them from sexual predators.”
Attempts to reach Woods for comment were unsuccessful.
Woods' wife said she was not aware of her husband's alleged on-line activities before the police came to their home.
“I'm devastated, absolutely devastated. I feel violated,” she said.
About five weeks ago, police busted a Forest Hills man and a Bayside man in similar, undercover on-line child pornography sting operations.
As a result of those operations, William Burgess, 42, of 99-45 67th Rd. in Forest Hills and Luis Alonzo, 52, of 212-03 50th Ave. in Bayside were arrested and charged with distributing indecent material to minors and endangering the welfare of a child, Brown said.
In another operation conducted at around the same time, Suffolk County police arrested a Middle Village man for allegedly attempting to meet with a detective they said he thought was a teenage girl.
Mitchell Kaplan, 51, of 66-67 69th St. in Middle Village was charged with attempting to give indecent material to minors, said Suffolk County police.
Like Woods, Burgess and Alonzo face up to four years in prison if convicted, said Brown. Suffolk County police said Kaplan also faces up to four years in prison if found guilty of the charges.
Reach reporter Tien-Shun Lee by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com, or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 155.