Prosecutors argue he planned to meet a boy for sex
NEW YORK — A California man was sentenced Monday to 17 1/2 years in prison for a federal child pornography conviction after prosecutors broke legal ground by arguing he deserved a longer prison term because he planned to meet a boy for sex knowing he is HIV positive.
John Weisser, 39, of Oakland, Calif., was sentenced after U.S. District Judge Richard Casey concluded he was “a predator who poses a significant risk to children.”
Both prosecutors and the defense agreed that the case was the first in which a federal defendant was sentenced to a longer prison term because he planned to have sex with a child knowing he has HIV.
He could have been sentenced to as little as five years and three months.
The judge said Weisser deserved greater punishment than if he were HIV negative or unaware of his status. He said no condoms were found on Weisser or in his Manhattan hotel room when he was arrested April 27, 2000.
In computer chat rooms, Weisser had indicated that he intended to leave his condoms at his California home when he flew to New York City to have sex with what he thought was a 12-year-old boy, the judge said.
The boy actually was a fictional identity created by Secret Service agents.
Weisser was convicted by a jury Oct. 23, 2000, of using the Internet to entice a child to engage in a sexual act, traveling with the intent to engage in sex with a child and transporting pornography.
Prosecutors said child pornography charges resulted when agents found that Weisser had a compact disc with numerous images of child pornography.
Weisser’s lawyer, Richard Lind, argued for leniency, saying no child was harmed.