Peters High grad charged in federal child enticement case

April 1, 2013

A Peters Township High School graduate and former Mercyhurst University student has been charged in federal court with using a computer in attempts to entice a 14-year-old into meeting him for sex.

Sean Robert Sickmund, 20, of Peters Township, also is accused of sending a photo of his genitals to a federal investigator posing as the girl in a Skype chat session, court records show.

Sickmund, who has withdrawn from Mercyhurst, is free on $2,500 bond after being charged in the U.S. Western District of New York March 8 by a special agent with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the record indicates.

Agent Edward J. Williams Jr. interviewed the girl March 1 and learned she had been having online exchanges of self-produced sexual images and live streaming videos with several people for the past 13 months through social media and web chatting services. She also provided Williams with the user names of the people she had discussed meeting in person, documents show.

One user name she provided was that of a 20-year-old college student in Erie whom she had told her actual age. She and her parents then signed a consent form to allow Williams to assume her identity online.

Williams said he went on to have four long online conversations with Sickmund, beginning March 1, in which Sickmund allegedly discussed traveling to her Jamestown, N.Y., hometown to meet for sex and provided his email address.

Sickmund also faces allegations he requested March 3 that the girl send him images, videos and her panties, while also offering to drive to Jamestown to meet her six days later.

During a March 4 communication, Williams alleges Sickmund instructed the girl about what clothes to wear for their encounter and how to perform sex.

Williams further stated that a photograph Sickmund allegedly sent the girl through Skype matches other photographs of him that he and others have posted on the Internet.

Homeland Security investigators notified Sickmund March 7 that his Skype username had numerous hits with the victim’s account between August 24 and 29, and that they included chats in which he asked the girl to display her genitals to him and expressed a desire to engage in various sex acts with her.

The conditions of Sickmund’s bond required him to surrender his passport and to have no contact with a child unless supervised by a responsible adult. Prosecutors also have asked the court to require him to wear an electronic monitoring device.

Sickmund played lacrosse both at Peters and Mercyhurst. He faces a minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison if convicted.

His attorney, Mark J. Mahoney of Buffalo, N.Y., could not be reached Monday.

Scott Beveridge is a North Charleroi native who has lived most of his life in nearby Rostraver Township. He is a general assignments reporter focusing on investigative journalism and writing stories about the mid-Mon Valley. He has a bachelor's degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a master's from Duquesne University. Scott spent three weeks in Vietnam in 2004 as a foreign correspondent under an International Center for Journalists fellowship.

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