Mother of 3 gets 14yrs in prison for bombarding teenage boy with sexually explicit messages online, then traveled to meet him for sex

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A 41-year old woman who started online romance with a 14-year-old boy has been sentenced to 14 years in federal prison. In addition to prison, U.S. District Judge Joseph F. Leeson sentenced the woman to 20 years of supervised release at the end of her time behind bars.

Mother-of-three, Sarah Norton from Jewett City, Connecticut, lured the boy into an ongoing sexually explicit exchange online. She then traveled to the Allentown area in Pennsylvania to have sex with him, court documents say.

Norton met the teenager through online gaming and started chatting with him on his Sony PlayStation, according to the report.

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“Her constant barrage of messages to the child catapulted him even further into an adult ‘relationship,’ way beyond his level of maturity, experience, and understanding. In so doing, she interrupted and forever destroyed the child’s normal pace of development, maturity, and sexuality,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Sherri Stephan wrote in a sentencing memorandum.

Trouble started for Norton back in August 2017 when she started chatting with the  Upper Macungie Township teenager. Her messages became more explicit and she then persuaded the boy to meet her for sex, according to the report. Police said the communications were eventually discovered by the boy’s father and his stepmother.

Norton traveled to Allentown on Oct. 14, 2017, and checked into a hotel to have sex with the boy, according to court documents. She told police she met the boy at a park but returned to Connecticut on Oct. 15, 2017, without having sex with the child.

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“Those who sexually target children are among the most depraved in our society,” U.S. Attorney William M. McSwain said when the case started. “This is true no matter the gender of the offender or the excuses served up for this type of behavior. We will aggressively pursue and prosecute anyone who targets children for their own sexual gratification.”

Norton was indicted in April 2018. She was found guilty in December 2019 after a three-day trial of one count of attempted enticement of a minor to engage in illegal sexual activity, and one count of traveling to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor.

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Norton’s case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Upper Macungie Police Department. It 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, according to a press statement.