Connecticut Man Sentenced to 11+ Years for Traveling to Maine to Engage in Illicit Sexual Conduct with 13-Year-Old

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FILE PHOTO: The U.S. Department of Justice Building is pictured

PORTLAND, Maine:  A Connecticut man was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Portland for traveling to Maine to have sex with a minor, U.S. Attorney Darcie N. McElwee announced.

U.S. District Judge John A. Woodcock, Jr. sentenced Devin Melycher, 30, to 135 months in prison and 10 years of supervised release. Melycher pleaded guilty on June 1, 2022.

According to court records, in August 2020, Melycher drove from his residence in Connecticut to Gorham, Maine to engage in sexual conduct with the minor victim. The trip followed weeks of contact between Melycher and the victim over Snapchat and other chat platforms during which time Melycher, who initially told the victim he was 19, pressured the victim to send sexually explicit images despite knowing the victim was only 13. 

Homeland Security Investigations and the Gorham Police Department investigated the case.

“The evidence in this case showed that Devin Melycher is a sexual predator who indiscriminately distributed pornographic images of his body across chat platforms without regard to who received them or whether or not they were of legal age in an attempt to interact with them,” McElwee said. “He preyed upon minors, groomed them, and in the case of this victim, traveled to engage in illegal sexual acts despite knowing the victim was only 13.” 

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McElwee furthered warned parents of the growing role the internet and chat platforms play in exposing children to predators like Melycher.

“The internet opens up the world to our children, but it also exposes them to the world at a time when they may not be mature enough to understand or handle to consequences,” McElwee said. “Predators are increasingly using social media, apps and gaming platforms to find and access victims, and the consequences can be lifechanging and tragic. Parents should remain vigilant and talk to their kids – often and repeatedly – about online safety, including why they should never engage online in any way with someone that they haven’t met in real life. It is so important that they know that images they share never really go away online and that they can and should confide in an adult they trust if anyone online ever says or does anything that makes them uncomfortable.”

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If you suspect that a child is being sexually exploited online: The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children’s CyberTipline is the nation’s centralized reporting system for the online exploitation of children. The public and electronic service providers can make reports of suspected online enticement of children for sexual acts, child sexual molestation, child sexual abuse material, child sex tourism, child sex trafficking, unsolicited obscene materials sent to a child, misleading domain names, and misleading words or digital images on the internet. If you suspect that a child is being sexually exploited online, visit report.cybertip.org. or call 1-800-843-5678. To learn more about how to talk to your kids about online safety, visit missingkids.org/netsmartz.

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Project Safe Childhood: This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Department’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.

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