Ex-coach arrested in online sex sting

By Tien-Shun Lee

Ronny Seigle, now a real estate broker for Kingsview Realty Corp. in Brooklyn, was charged with e-mailing digital camera photos of his private parts via America Online to an undercover detective from the New York City Police Department who was posing as a 13-year-old girl in an ongoing online child pornography sting operation, District Attorney Richard Brown said.

Seigle is also charged with asking the online screen name if she wanted to experiment sexually with him and asking her questions related to her sexual development in repeated communications between Aug. 27 and Jan. 7, Brown said.

He was arraigned Friday in Queens Criminal Court before Judge Lenore Gerald who set bail at $15,000 and scheduled a return court date of Jan. 26.

According to a written statement by the defendant, on Jan. 7, Seigle went to the LIRR station at Austin Street and 71st Avenue with the intention of meeting his victim to engage in oral sex, Brown said. He was arrested by detectives assigned to the NYPD's Computer Investigation Technology Unit, who recovered a Polaroid camera and a new pack of Polaroid film from Seigle.

“The case shows the importance of Internet law enforcement surveillance initiatives to protect children who are underage and vulnerable to predators and should serve as a warning to all such predators,” the DA said.

Seigle was charged with attempted sexual act, attempted dissemination of indecent material to minors, attempted sexual abuse and attempted endangering the welfare of a child, Brown said. He faces up to four years in prison if convicted.

Seigle's lawyer, Mark Cossuto, did not return calls for comment.

Seigle was a swim coach for 12- and 13-year-old girls at Good Shepherd School in Marine Park, Brooklyn, before becoming a real estate broker, law enforcement sources said. He lives at 1423 E. 73rd St. in Brooklyn.

Seigle is the latest man to be apprehended in a series of arrests over the past year of Internet users charged with engaging in sexually explicit conversations with NYPD detectives they thought were young girls.

Other men charged last year in Queens for similar crimes include William Burgess, 43, a computer services engineer from Forest Hills; Mitchell Kaplan, 51, of Middle Village, who works as a bartender at Madison Square Garden; Luis Alonzo, 52, a self-employed accountant from Bayside; John Woods, 35, of Kew Gardens; and Nelson Pardo Jr., 39, a U.S. Army sergeant from Highland Falls, N.Y., who was arrested at a Burger King in Bayside where he allegedly intended to meet with his victim.

Burgess was sentenced on Dec. 16 to 1-1/3 to four years in prison. Alonzo and Woods have not been indicted and are scheduled to appear in court Jan. 16, said a spokeswoman for the DA. Pardo's indictment is also pending, and he is scheduled to appear in court Feb. 2, the spokeswoman said. Kaplan was sentenced to five years probation on Dec. 1 after pleading guilty, said a representative of the Suffolk County District Court.

Reach reporter Tien-Shun Lee by e-mail at news@timesledger.com, or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 155.

More from Around New York