ALBANY - A former state assemblyman from Plattsburgh has pleaded guilty to one of the charges against him involving soliciting sex with minors. According to a Department of Justice report, George "Chris" Ortloff, 61, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court Dec. 24 to one of the counts against him regarding the on-line enticement of minors. He also agreed to forfeit various computer equipment.
Ortloff admitted in a written plea agreement and during his plea proceeding to communicating with a person he thought was the mother of two minor females, ages 11 and 12 from Albany County. The defendant admitted using the telephone and Internet services of Yahoo, Gmail and America Online to make contact between June 2008 and October 2008.
Ortloff was actually conversing with undercover agents from the New York State Police's Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. While communicating with the individuals, Ortloff knowingly misrepresented his identity, the report continued. During the conversations, Ortloff was informed the "minors" were 11 and 12 years of age. He reportedly discussed engaging in various sexual acts with them while conversing with them on-line and on the telephone.
On Oct. 13, Ortloff drove to Colonie where he had arranged a meeting at a hotel with the minors, the report stated. When taken into custody by authorities, he was said to be in possession of sex toys and other sexual paraphernalia.
Ortloff's laptop computer and other related equipment, including a digital camera and flash drive, were subsequently seized by law enforcement officials.
Sentencing has been scheduled by the Hon. Thomas J. McAvoy for April 23, 2009, at 9:30 a.m. in U.S. District Court in Binghamton. If convicted, Ortloff faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, a maximum penalty of life, and a fine of $250,000.
The case was investigated by the New York State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and Computer Crimes Unit, with assistance from the New York State Police Special Investigations Unit, New York State Police investigators working in the Ray Brook, Plattsburgh, and Loudonville barracks, and the New York State Attorney General's Office.