Distraught Staten Island dad explains how a man tried to lure his 12-year-old son to Instagram for sex
STATEN ISLAND, NY – In 2020, the father of a 12-year-old boy from Staten Island was surprised and furious by a series of disturbing messages sent by direct message to his son’s Instagram account.
Last month, a now 24-year-old man pleaded guilty to a felony charge stemming from an undercover police investigation that followed.
Angelo Pavia, who was living in Port Richmond at the time of the incident, is set to be sentenced Nov. 3 in St. George’s State Supreme Court on a charge of attempted first-degree sexual abuse of a minor.
The prosecution promises a six-month prison sentence and 10 years probation for a sex offender.
“His name should be known and people should know about it,” said the victim’s father, who spoke to Advance/SILive.com this week about what he described as a frustrating ordeal. took place at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Anyone to whom he is not required to report [as a sex offender]I want them to know his name.
Attorney Timothy Richard – the latest of what sources described as a revolving door of defenders hired by Pavie over the past two years – said on Monday his client had “accepted responsibility for any wrongdoing and was focused on the future”.
“YOU ARE A REALLY CUTE CHILD”
The victim’s father explained that his son’s Instagram account at the time was public, used to promote the sporting achievements for which his son had gained national fame and attract potential sponsors.
He said that while his son had access to the account, he monitored any direct messages that came in.
It was in the summer of 2020 that he noticed a new follower.
“They sent a DM [direct message] who said ‘way to go champion’, remembers his father. “I thought, ‘OK, that’s innocent enough.'”
Ten minutes later, the father said another message had come in:
“‘Oh by the way, you’re a really cute kid.'”
Posing as his son, the boy’s father kept the conversation going for a few days.
The man asked at one point if the boy liked anime, which are Japanese cartoons consumed by children and adults. Then he asked if the boy had ever watched hentai, which is animated pornography, according to the father.
“He just kept getting creepier and creepier,” said the boy’s father, who added his son had never had any interaction with Pavia.
By the time the police got involved, the messages had already become more personally sexual in nature, as Pavia at one point sent a video of himself “rubbing [genitals] both over and under her underwear,” prosecutors alleged in their complaint.
ARRESTED AT MILLER FIELD
After a few days of investigators posing as the victim, whom authorities said Pavia knew was 12, the suspect requested to meet at Miller Field in New Dorp on the afternoon of July 15.
Pavia said he would perform sexual acts on the boy “including, but not limited to, oral sex,” according to the criminal complaint.
When the police showed up instead to arrest Pavia, he was found with gift cards, a soccer ball, and a basketball; likely gifts for the victim, police sources said on Monday.
“Once the guy was arrested, I sat all my kids down and explained to them what had happened,” the boy’s father said. “And that’s why we monitor your accounts.”
District Attorney Michael E. McMahon released a statement Monday regarding the outcome of the case.
“The defendant’s guilty plea and promised sentence in this case ensures that justice is served and that he will be held accountable for his inadmissible crimes,” McMahon said.
“But, this case serves as a precautionary and sadly necessary reminder to all Staten Island parents: Please remain vigilant and mindful of your children’s use of social media. Sexual predators and scammers use social media to commit their crimes and any unusual or potentially criminal activity you witness should be reported immediately to the NYPD or my office.
A VALID LESSON
The victim’s father said on Monday that while he is relieved the case is almost over and Pavie will have to register his name with the National Sex Offender Registry, the six-month sentence remains a concern.
He noted the possibility that Pavia, who at the time of the incident was apparently working at a pizza place, could be hired in the future by a person or company that does not require background checks; or engages in a relationship with someone who is unaware of his criminal past.
“I’m worried about children in general,” he said. “Unfortunately, there are sick people in the world, and we have to be careful.”