SYRACUSE, N.Y.—The U.S. Attorney’s office announced today that an Ithaca man was sentenced to 13 years and four months in prison for attempted online enticement of a minor.

Jeffrey Blake, 51, of Ithaca, was initially arrested in 2019 after admitting to sending explicit text messages to someone who he believed was the mother of 9 and 13-year-old girls for a two-month period in the summer of 2019. Blake “expressed an interest in meeting the children and engaging in sex acts with them,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s office, and also believed he was sending text messages to the two girls themselves. However, Blake was communicating with an undercover police officer the entire time.

“In those communications, Blake assured the children that sex with him would not be painful, and that he would take precautions to keep the 13 year-old from getting pregnant,” the announcement of the sentencing states. “On August 23, 219, Blake drove to a pre-determined location in Broome County to meet and have sex with the children. He brought with him bibrators and birth control as well as necklaces, bracelets, earrings and stuffed animals that he planned to give to the children as gifts.”

At that time, law enforcement met and arrested Blake.

In addition to the jail time, Blake was sentenced to supervised release after he is freed from jail, and he will have to register as a sex offender upon his release from prison.

The case was investigated by the FBI, using a task force out of Syracuse. The New York State Police and the Bureau of Criminal Investigation are also involved in the task force’s work.

Matt Butler

Matt Butler is the Education & Public Health Reporter at the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached by email at mbutler@ithacavoice.com