PROVIDENCE, RI – A Pawtucket man was arraigned in federal court in Providence today on an indictment charging him with attempting to transfer obscene material to a minor and attempting to engage in prohibited sexual activity with a minor.
It is alleged that Tomy J. Fitton, 40, engaged in sexually explicit online chatroom conversations with a person he believed to be a 14 year-old girl and sent the girl multiple sexually explicit photographs. It is alleged that during the online chats, Fitton arranged to meet the girl at a specified location in Providence and to engage in illicit sexual activity.
The person Fitton was allegedly communicating with online was actually a member of the Rhode Island State Police Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force. Fitton was arrested by members of the ICAC Task Force when he arrived at the Providence location.
It is alleged that a forensic examination of a cell phone belonging to Fitton revealed the chatroom conversations between Fitton and a member of the ICAC Task Force and the sexually explicit photographs he alleged sent to the person he believed to be a 14 year-old girl.
Fitton was ordered detained in federal custody following his arraignment today before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Patricia A. Sullivan on an indictment charging him with attempted enticement of a minor to engage in prohibited sexual activity and attempted transfer of obscene material to a minor, announced United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police Colonel James M. Manni, and Homeland Security Investigations Acting Special Agent in Charge Michael S. Shea.
A federal indictment is merely an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
If convicted as charged in the indictment, Fitton faces statutory penalties of between 10 years and life imprisonment and 5 years to lifetime supervised release.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald R. Gendron.
The Rhode Island ICAC Task Force is comprised of members of the Rhode Island State Police Computer Crimes Unit along with detectives from the Warwick Police Department, Cranston Police Department, Newport Police Department, East Providence Police Department, Pawtucket Police Department, Bristol Police Department, North Kingstown Police Department, Portsmouth Police Department, and Homeland Security Investigations.