Agent: MIT suspect chatted from work

A researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who allegedly flew to Grand Junction on the promise of sex with young girls was on the job when he sent most of his sexually graphic chats outlined in an arrest affidavit, a federal agent testified Tuesday.

Vanessa Hipps, with the U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, testified during a detention hearing Tuesday that campus police at MIT were scheduled to meet with school lawyers on the question of whether 30-year-old Yaron Segal would continue to have a job.

An Israeli citizen, Segal had been in the United States on a work authorization visa sponsored by MIT. Segal is a postdoctoral physics researcher at the school.

Magistrate Judge Gudrun Rice on Tuesday ordered Segal to be held without bond in federal custody, saying there were no conditions of bond that would ensure his continued presence in court.

Segal was arrested March 28 at Grand Junction Regional Airport after he allegedly engaged over several months in online chats with Hipps, who posed as a mother offering sex with her and her daughters, ages 4 and 14.

Agents found a series of sex toys in Segal’s luggage at the airport, Hipps testified.

Hipps testified she and Segal first chatted online Feb. 2, in a discussion which was started by Segal.

“Fantasize about torturing a little girl?” Segal wrote, according to Hipps’ testimony.


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