NEWARK, N.J. – A Sussex County man was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison Wednesday for luring a teenage boy to Pennsylvania for illegal sexual activity, as well as downloading and receiving images on his home computer of child sex abuse. The sentencing follows an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Robert Mucha, 58, of Newton, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge William H. Walls in Newark to one count of enticing a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity and one count of receiving child pornography. Judge Walls imposed the sentence Wednesday in federal court.
According to court documents, in October 2010 Mucha convinced a teenage boy to travel from New Jersey to Pennsylvania to spend the day with him and then sleep over at Mucha’s apartment in Stroudsberg, Pa. Upon his July 2012 arrest, Mucha admitted to sexual contact with the teenager.
"Although the sentence imposed may seem just, no amount of time behind bars seems adequate to punish such a disturbing individual," said Andrew McLees, special agent in charge of HSI Newark. "Not only did Mucha lure a child to his home to sexually assault the boy, but he deeply fantasized about raping, killing and eating children. As a civil society, we cannot tolerate such egregious behavior. HSI will continue to remove deviants such as Mucha from our communities to keep our children safe."
Prior to his arrest, Mucha worked as a volunteer Emergency Medical Technician in Andover, N.J. He also previously taught band and bugle corps to teenagers in Belleville, N.J., and Lakewood, N.J.
In addition to the prison term, Mucha was sentenced to serve a lifetime of supervised release, which restricts his access to computers, the Internet and children. He was also ordered to pay $10,000 in restitution. Mucha is also required to register as a sex offender.
Mucha’s sentencing is part of an ongoing HSI-led investigation that originated in Boston. Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew J. Bruck prosecuted the case on behalf of the U.S. Attorney’s Office General Crimes Unit in Newark.
This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders and child sex traffickers.
HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-843-5678.
HSI is a founding member and current chair of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.