'Dirty old man' sentenced for unlawful contact with boy

·2 min read

Aug. 12—WILKES-BARRE — A man from Binghamton, N.Y., who called himself a "dirty old man" while conversing with whom he believed was a 15-year-old boy, was sentenced to up to two years in jail Thursday.

Eric Ryan Gonzalez, 37, appeared before Luzerne County Judge Joseph F. Sklarosky Jr. saying he has no excuse for his behavior.

"I'm ready to face the consequences," Gonzalez said.

Kingston police arrested Gonzalez after he engaged in an online conversation with a detective posing as a teen boy from Sept. 21 to Oct. 9, 2020, according to court records.

Police alleged Gonzalez initiated the conversation by stating, "Hey," on a social media site. Gonzalez wrote to the boy, "Just so you know, I have a husband. LOL. Mainly looking for friends or even a third," court records say.

Gonzalez was accused of soliciting pictures of the boy and once he received the photographs, he replied, "Cutie," and "You seem nice and you are very handsome, Got me a little excited. LOL. Do you like to cuddle?" according to court records.

Police in court records say Gonzalez stated he wanted to be cautious and sent emojis normally used to described certain body parts adding, "Sorry, being a dirty old man."

Gonzalez was arrested when he traveled to the area with plans to meet the boy.

Gonzalez pled guilty to a single count of unlawful contact with a minor.

At his sentencing hearing, his attorney, John Pike said Gonzalez' behavior was "way out of character for him."

Several letters were written on behalf of Gonzalez, including a mitigation report, detailing his years of volunteerism in his community.

Sklarosky sentenced Gonzalez to one-to-two years at the county correctional facility followed by five years probation. He was given credit for 27 days time served.

Gonzalez must register his address for 25 years under the state's Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act.