Mother of Three Sentenced to 14 Years for Traveling to Pennsylvania to Have Sex with Teenager

US Department of Justice

PHILADELPHIA, PA — Acting United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced that Sarah Norton, 41, of Jewett City, Connecticut, was sentenced to 14 years in prison, followed by 20 years of supervised release by United States District Court Judge Joseph P. Leeson for child exploitation offenses stemming from her sexually explicit interactions with a 14-year-old boy.

In December 2019, Norton was found guilty after a three-day trial of one count of attempted enticement of a minor to engage in illegal sexual activity, and one count of traveling to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor.

Authorities state that the defendant, a mother of three, met the victim while “gaming” online. She then used online and cell phone communications to attempt to seduce the victim into engaging in sexually explicit contact. In late 2017, Norton traveled from her home in Connecticut to Pennsylvania to meet with the boy for sex in a hotel room that she had rented in the vicinity of Allentown, PA. Norton’s plan was foiled after the victim’s father became suspicious of the messages the victim had on his cell phone and interrupted the plan.

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“Sarah Norton deliberately and aggressively manipulated a 14-year-old boy, a child that was around the same age as her own children, for her own sexually deviant motives,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Williams. “Her predatory behavior is difficult to comprehend; as a mother herself, she knew the damage she was causing and simply did not care. Our Office will continue to investigate and prosecute sexual predators like the defendant so that they can no longer harm innocent children.”

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

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The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Upper Macungie Police Department, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Sherri A. Stephan.

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