Audrey Strauss, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Jacqueline Maguire, the Acting Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), and Miriam E. Rocah, Westchester County District Attorney, announced Wednesday, August 11th, the arrest of Robert Pope for persuading, inducing, enticing and coercing a 16-year-old minor to engage in sexual activity. Pope was arrested yesterday morning and presented before U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul E. Davison in White Plains federal court.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said: “The alleged conduct in this case underlines the urgent need for law enforcement to continue its efforts to protect children from those who prey on them. We have zero tolerance for the exploitation of children and we will prosecute and punish those who engage in this conduct. Any individuals who may have relevant information concerning Robert Pope should please contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI.”
FBI Acting Assistant Director Jacqueline Maguire said: “Adults who are entrusted with educating and instructing children usually have the child’s best interest at heart. As we allege, Mr. Pope instead chose to abuse his position of authority as a baseball coach to coerce and entice a child into having sex with him. We believe there may be other victims who haven’t yet come forward, and we’re asking any potential victims and their parents or guardians to contact us at 1-800-CALL-FBI or online at tips.fbi.gov. Your information could help our investigation, and help us hold Mr. Pope accountable.”
Westchester County District Attorney Miriam E. Rocah said: “As alleged in this case, Robert Pope abused his position of trust to take advantage of the most vulnerable for his own sexual gratification. We are proud to work together with the Southern District of New York, the New York FBI and the Mount Vernon Police Department to aggressively prosecute sexual abuse of minors and will use all of our collective resources to ensure sexual predators are stopped and held accountable.”
According to the Complaint filed on August 9, 2021 in White Plains federal court and unsealed yesterday:
Between at least on or about September 1, 2020, up to and including at least on or about April 11, 2021, Pope communicated with a 16-year-old minor (“Victim-1”) by cellphone and persuaded Victim-1 to meet POPE in person in Westchester County, New York on more than one occasion to engage in sexual activities with Pope.
On or about June 15, 2021, Robert Pope was charged in Westchester County, New York, with three counts of Criminal Sexual Act in violation of New York Penal Law 130.40(2).
Ms. Strauss stated that the investigation is ongoing. Ms. Strauss requests that any individuals who may have relevant information concerning Robert Pope contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation at 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5324).
Pope, 30, of Mount Vernon, New York, is charged with one count of coercion and enticement, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. The statutory maximum sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.
Ms. Strauss praised the efforts of the FBI, the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office, the Westchester County Safe Streets Task Force, and the Mount Vernon Police Department in connection with this investigation. She added that the investigation is ongoing.
This case began as an investigation in Westchester County District Attorney’s Office by Assistant District Attorneys Marissa Morra Wynn and Christine Hatfield. The prosecution is being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division. Assistant United States Attorney Marcia S. Cohen is in charge of the prosecution.