By Forum Staff
A Broadway musical pianist has been charged with attempted use of a child in a sexual performance, attempted criminal sexual act and other crimes after allegedly being caught trying to meet with a 14-year-old boy for sex.
Justin Brown, 26, of Manhattan, was arraigned Friday on a complaint charging him with attempted use of a child in a sexual performance, second- and third-degree attempted criminal sexual act, first-degree attempted dissemination of indecent material to minors and attempted endangering the welfare of a child. Bail was set at $20,000 cash or bond. City Department of Correction records show that Brown was discharged from Rikers Island on Saturday.
If convicted, Brown faces up to seven years in prison.
Brown allegedly was unknowingly communicating on the social media app Snapchat, not with a 14-year-old boy but with an undercover police officer investigating cases involving the use of the internet to entice children to have sex and to create, distribute and possess pornography.
Acting Queens District Attorney John Ryan said, “This case underscores the crucial importance of internet surveillance efforts by law enforcement to protect children from sexual predators. However, in addition to police being proactive, this should also serve as a warning to parents that at all times they must closely monitor their children’s online activities—in particular on social media apps. The defendant, who was told numerous times that the person he was chatting with was an underage boy continued to pursue the ‘youngster’ and traveled from Manhattan to Queens to meet for sex.”
Charges in the case reflect that a police officer working undercover online and posing as a minor child on Monday, Sept. 2, at approximately 11 a.m., utilized the Grindr app and received a text message allegedly from the defendant. Brown asked for the individual’s age and after being told 14, he allegedly responded “nice” and asked about switching over to the Snapchat app. Around noon that same day on Snapchat, the “teenager” received a message from Brown using the name “jbplaysmusic1.” A sexually-explicit conversation ensued and the defendant allegedly sent a photo of his face and a picture of his penis to the “boy.”
Brown had numerous online conversations with the “teen boy” between Monday and Thursday of the same week. During those chats the defendant allegedly sent a video of himself masturbating, asked the boy if he was horny, the length of his penis and other sexually-explicit questions.
On Thursday, Sept. 5, Brown asked the undercover police officer posing as a teenager about meeting up for sex. A location was chosen on Parsons Boulevard and that afternoon Brown showed up and was arrested. His backpack allegedly contained a bottle of lubricant and condoms. When interviewed by police, Brown allegedly admitted to the scheduled meeting with a 14-year-old and furthermore stated that he had been talking to numerous people who are underage.