(STL.News) – Michael Varian, age 52, of Troy, New York, was sentenced on Wednesday to 121 months in prison, to be followed by 15 years of supervised release, for attempted online enticement of a minor.
The announcement was made by United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith and James N. Hendricks, Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Varian, a school bus driver, admitted that he attempted to entice an individual, whom he believed to be a 14-year-old boy, to have sex. After weeks of exchanging sexually explicit text messages with undercover law enforcement officers posing as the boy, Varian arranged to meet the boy at a fast food restaurant in Albany County, where Varian was arrested.
In sentencing Varian, Senior United States District Judge Thomas J. McAvoy specifically found that Varian had previously engaged in a pattern of activity involving prohibited sexual conduct. This included an incident where Varian had a sexual encounter with a minor boy in the public bathroom of an Albany County mall, which Varian admitted as part of his guilty plea.
This case was investigated by the FBI and its Child Exploitation Task Force, which includes members of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, including the Colonie Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Joshua R. Rosenthal.
This case was prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood. Launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice, Project Safe Childhood is led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), 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 https://www.justice.gov/psc.