Jamestown Man Indicted On Federal Enticement, Child Sex Trafficking Charges

BUFFALO — A Jamestown man who U.S. federal prosecutors say attempted to coerce minors into prostitution and sexual activities was indicted by a federal grand jury in Buffalo.

The 14-count indictment against 37-year-old James A. Chapman was announced Thursday by U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy Jr. The charges — enticement of a minor; sex trafficking of a minor; production, distribution, possession and receipt of child pornography — carry a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years in prison, a maximum of life and a $250,000 fine, Kennedy said in a statement.

Thursday’s announcement was the result of an investigation by the FBI and Jamestown Police Department. According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron Mango, who is handling the case, Chapman allegedly attempted to coerce a minor to engage in prostitution and sexual activity between Nov. 24 and Nov. 25, 2014. On the same dates, Mango said the city man — who also went by “Fatz Guy” and “Perverted Doe” — recruited two minors to engage in a commercial sex act.

Mango said the minors were both 16 years old at the time of the incident.

Between Dec. 14, 2016, and April 7, 2017, prosecutors say Chapman allegedly distributed an image of child pornography depicting the two minors. In addition, Chapman reportedly coerced a third minor to engage in “sexually explicit conduct for the purposes of producing a visual depiction,” Kennedy said in announcing the indictment.

Chapman allegedly received, possessed and distributed child pornography involving the third minor.

“We do believe that James Chapman had communication, either online or in person, with minors under the age of 18,” Mango told The Post-Journal on Thursday. “We do think there are others out there.”

Chapman reportedly made a false statement to the FBI on Jan. 24 of this year claiming he thought two of the minors involved were 18 years old “when in truth and in fact, Chapman knew they were minors,” Kennedy said in his statement. “In addition, the defendant possessed images of child pornography on his cellular telephone and social media account.”

Chapman was arraigned Thursday in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael J. Roemer at the Robert H. Jackson U.S. Courthouse in Buffalo and was being held pending a detention hearing on Monday at 11:30 a.m.

“This was a joint investigation by both agencies,” said Harry Snellings, chief of the Jamestown Police Department. “A great example of a collaborative effort in getting a predator out of our community.”

Kennedy asked anyone with information regarding Chapman’s contact with minors to call the FBI Buffalo office at 856-7800 and then pressing zero to speak with an agent.

The investigation was under the direction of Kevin Lyons, acting special agent-in-charge and Jamestown police.