A van driver for a private religious school in Manhattan was arrested this week for allegedly trying to have sex with an underage girl he met online. The girl in question, it turned out, was an undercover cop.
According to authorities, Elliot Provda, a 38-year-old Lower East Side resident, started sending the undercover agent a series of sexually explicit instant messages on October 1st, using his AOL account. He allegedly sent numerous messages that were "graphic and sexual in nature," between October 1st and December 4th, and at least one "included an invitation to meet for sexual activity in Queens."
Provda, an independent deliveryman, was hired by a group of parents to drive their children to and from an undisclosed private religious school in Manhattan; the children are between the ages of 6 and 13. And on Thursday, Provda was arraigned in court and charged with attempted dissemination of indecent material to minors and attempted endangering the welfare of a minor. "This case underscores the crucial importance of Internet surveillance initiatives by law enforcement to protect children from sexual predators and should serve as a warning to parents to closely monitor their children’s Internet access and activities," Queens DA Richard Brown said in a statement.
He is being held on $15,000 bond and could face up to four years in prison if convicted.