A Colonie man was arrested for allegedly trying to meet a girl for sex.
John Fleshman, of Colonie, is facing a number of charges, including Promoting a Sexual Performance by a Child, Disseminating Indecent Material to a Minor, and Attempted Rape.
Detective Sgt. George Thomaides of the Colonie Police Department says his office was alerted to Fleshman’s alleged activities after receiving a call from the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office in the State of Washington. Investigators there said they had matched the Colonie man’s computer IP address to a person who was having online contact with a 12-year-old girl in their area.
“The individual had gone online in an attempt to meet minors for the purpose of sexual activity,” said Thomaides.
Police say the girl was just one of many who Fleshman was contacting online and allegedly coercing them into sending him photos. Thomaides says the purpose was to “extract nudes of minors through some coercive acts and threats.”
Investigators with the FBI Child Exploitation Task Force took over the online identity of a local girl and then set up a meeting at a local park this past Saturday. When Fleshman arrived, police say he was taken into custody. Police say the defendant’s online exchanges prove he believed it was going to be a sexual rendezvous.
Fleshman’s father, Ron, spoke with NEWS10 ABC reporter Anya Tucker.
Anya: “Do you believe your son is capable of doing some of these things he’s accused of?”
Ron Fleshman: “I wouldn’t have thought so.”
Anya: “Did you have some concerns about him or his behavior?”
Fleshman: “Not really. He’s a little slow.”
Fleshman went on to explain that his son is autistic and has ADHD. The unemployed 27-year old had been living with his family in their Morris Road home until the police knocked on the door and executed a search warrant.
Thomaides says they have identified one live victim but believe there may be more saying, “Anybody who believes they were victimized, or their child was victimized by this individual, they’re asked to call us.”