BOSTON – A Pennsylvania man was sentenced late yesterday in federal court in Boston for attempting to engage in sexual activity with a nine-year-old boy he met via online PlayStation games.
Robert Rang, 28, of Coaldale, Penn., was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Indira Talwani to 12 years in prison and 15 years of supervised release. In July 2017, following a seven-day trial, a federal jury convicted Rang of one count of attempted coercion and enticement of a minor.
On Oct. 29, 2014, a Massachusetts woman contacted her local police department to report that her nine-year-old grandchild, with whom she lived, had been in contact with an adult male via Sony PlayStation and text message. The woman discovered the illicit contact when she observed sexually explicit messages from Rang on her grandchild’s iPod.
Further investigation revealed that Rang had been communicating with the child for months via PlayStation, telephone and Facebook. During that time, Rang sent the child gift cards to make PlayStation-related purchases. Over the course of several months, Rang asked the child to masturbate with him and send him naked pictures; the child refused Rang’s requests.
When law enforcement executed a federal search warrant at Rang’s Coaldale home on Dec. 29, 2014, they found several images of child pornography on Rang’s cell phone, as well as evidence of his sexually explicit communications with and attempted exploitation of other minors – including a boy in New York and a boy in Kentucky – and confirmation that Rang had made plans to visit the child in Massachusetts. Rang has a prior conviction for corruption of minors in Schuylkill County, Penn.
Acting United States Attorney William D. Weinreb; Shelly Binkowski, Inspector in Charge of U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Boston Division; Colonel Richard D. McKeon, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; Plymouth County Sherriff Joseph D. McDonald Jr.; and Plymouth Police Chief Michael E. Botieri made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorneys David G. Tobin and Anne Paruti of Weinreb’s Major Crimes Unit prosecuted the case.