Israeli flew to GJ for sex with woman, young daughters, affidavit alleges
A Massachusetts man is being held without bond after his arrest on allegations he flew to Grand Junction for a sex tryst with a woman and her two young daughters.
Yaron Segal, 30, of Cambridge, Mass., was arrested Wednesday at Grand Junction Regional Airport by a federal agent who had posed in a series of Internet chats over recent months as being interested in meeting Segal for sex, according to an arrest affidavit.
Segal is being held on suspicion of charges including travel with intent to engage in sexual acts with a person under age 12, a federal felony that carries a minimum 30 years to life in prison, a fine up to $250,000, or both, if convicted.
Federal prosecutors will seek Segal’s continued detention in a hearing scheduled for today.
Segal is an Israeli citizen and postdoctoral physics researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, according to the school’s website and the federal affidavit.
In the most recent post to his Facebook page, Segal on March 22, wrote, “Euthanize your physicists before they become an embarrassment!”
Richard Kornfeld, a Denver attorney who said he was retained by Segal in the matter, said he had not had time to review the government’s allegations against Segal.
“My client has not been indicted by a grand jury,” Kornfeld said.
Segal’s arrest was the product of work by a Glenwood Springs-based agent of U.S. Immigration and Customs and Enforcement. The agent on Feb. 2 was using an online persona when she was approached by someone with a screen name of “lombozi,” the affidavit said. “Lombozi” had been communicating online in channels with names such as “childslavesex” and “ChildRapeTortureBrutality,” the affidavit said.
“During the chat, we exchanged some personal information and I indicated I had two children, one under the age of 16 years old and one under the age of 12,” the affidavit said.
“Lombozi” allegedly expressed interest in meeting the mother and her children for sex, sent naked photos and a video of himself and a $100 Amazon gift card, requesting the woman buy a phone so they could communicate. The card was returned.
The man on Feb. 29 identified himself as “Ron” and eventually started using an email account identified as “firstname.lastname@example.org.”
The agent learned the account was most recently used in Cambridge, Mass., and had been opened in New Haven, Conn. Segal was identified as “Ron,” using “available databases,” the affidavit said.
The agent wrote in the affidavit that Segal, who was arrested Wednesday in the baggage claim area of Grand Junction Regional Airport, was a match for suspect photos sent online during the investigation.
Segal’s arrest was the second of its kind in just over a month involving undercover federal agents working online to arrange sexual trysts with men in Grand Junction.
Paulo dos Santos Silva Jr., 37, was arrested at the airport Feb. 25 after flying from his home in Brazil, allegedly anticipating sex with a woman and her two minor daughters. Jeff Dorschner, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Denver, said Segal’s arrest was part of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood enforcement initiative targeting child pornography and child sex tourism.