Former Teacher and Coach Sentenced to 114 Months in Project Safe Childhood Case
(STL.News) A resident of Erie, Pennsylvania, has been sentenced in federal court to 114 months in jail, 15 years of supervised release and $3,000 in restitution on his conviction of violating federal child sexual exploitation laws, United States Attorney Cindy K. Chung announced today.
United States District Judge Susan Paradise Baxter imposed the sentence on Gregory Mancini who is currently incarcerated at the Erie County Prison.
In connection with the guilty plea, the Court was advised that on November 2, 2018, Mancini traveled to Georgia from Erie, Pennsylvania for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual conduct with a 13-year-old boy. Upon arriving in Georgia, Mancini traveled to meet with the boy and was subsequently taken into custody by the Hall County, Georgia Sheriff’s Office.
When interviewed, Mancini admitted that he had engaged in sexual talk with the minor victim and that he had crossed the line. Mancini also admitted that he was a criminal.
The investigation uncovered that Mancini had groomed the victim for months, discussing his intention to engage in sex acts with the minor. He told the victim to keep quiet about their contact and that he loved the victim who was thirteen years of age at the time. After Mancini told the victim that he was coming to visit him on November 2, 2018, the victim became upset and ultimately the Hall County Sheriff’s Office was contacted.
They then assumed the victim’s identity online and Mancini began communicating with an undercover detective whom he thought was the victim. During his communication with the undercover detective, Mancini, thinking he was communicating with the minor victim, stated “i want u, I love u.” Shortly before his arrest, Mancini again thinking he was communicating with the minor victim, texted “I want to hug u … kiss u … love u.”
After Mancini’s arrest, federal authorities in Georgia transferred the case to Erie for further investigation. That inquiry ultimately uncovered that Mancini was using the dark web to obtain child sexual abuse material. The execution of a federal search warrant at Mancini’s residence in Erie County on January 9, 2020, resulted in the seizure of two computers and a thumb drive belonging to Mancini.
A forensic examination of those items revealed hundreds of items of child sexual abuse material depicting children as young as two being raped and abused by adults. Also uncovered was a journal Mancini had written wherein he admitted that he was attracted to younger boys.
In imposing sentence, Judge Baxter noted her grave concern that Mancini was a teacher while committing these offenses. Judge Baxter also noted the extreme nature of the child sexual abuse material Mancini had obtained.
Assistant United States Attorney Christian A. Trabold prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.
United States Attorney Chung commended the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Homeland Security Investigations and the Hall County, Georgia Sheriff’s Office for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Mancini.