SOUTHINGTON - A local sex offender was ordered held on $100,000 bond following his arraignment on charges he arranged a meeting with who he thought was teenage boy and asked for photos of his genitals.
Keith Dubin, 31, was arraigned Tuesday in Bristol Superior Court after he was arrested a day earlier on charges of criminal attempt to commit risk of injury to a minor and criminal attempt to commit possession of child pornography.
According to the arrest warrant, Dubin, a registered sex offender, contacted a man posing as a 14-year-old boy on a homosexual dating application on July 21. The man is part of a Facebook group called the POP (Prey on Predators) Squad. The group, according to its page, says it works to “get as many predators off the streets as possible.” It has been responsible for at least one other arrest in the area in a similar sting operation.
Dubin immediately turns the conversation sexual, police allege, before the POP Squad member asks if he is mad that he will be turning 15 soon. Dubin, the warrant said, then asks why the user is on the app and says it is only for adults. The conversation ends shortly thereafter and Dubin blocks the POP Squad member from having any contact with him on the app.
Dubin again contacts the user on Aug. 17 and apologizes for blocking him. He also insists he’s not mad that the POP Squad member’s profile says he is only 14 years old, the warrant said. Dubin then allegedly asked for photos, and the user sends him a photograph of a young male. He refers to the picture as “cute,” and quickly asks for more.
After receiving two more photographs, Dubin then asks if the user will send him any photos of his genitals, according to police. The POP Squad member declines and says he is too shy. Dubin then sends some photos of his face and says the rest of his photographs are “nudes.”
The two then exchanged phone numbers and began texting each other. The messages span between last Thursday and Friday. During the messages, the two try to arrange a meeting together, but Dubin says they cannot spend time at his home because he lives with his mother. He later invites the user to his home and says his mother is sleeping, but the POP Squad member insists they meet somewhere public. During the conversation, Dubin asks him for shirtless photos, but none are sent.
The two eventually agree to meet Friday at Dunkin Donuts on Main Street in Southington, where the POP Squad member reveals he is an adult. He films the entire encounter, in which Dubin admits he is attracted to young boys and says he has a problem that he is trying to get help for, the warrant said.
Police allege that Dubin implied the encounter between he and who he thought was a teenager would be sexual in nature based on the conversations the two had had.
The POP Squad member went to the police department Friday and gave officers a flash drive containing the text conversations between he and Dubin, as well as a copy of the video of their meeting at Dunkin Donuts.
Dubin was arrested Monday and held in custody overnight. During his arraignment Tuesday in Bristol Superior Court, officials said his criminal history includes convictions of possession of child pornography, risk of injury to a minor and violation of probation. He is a registered sex offender.
“In my view, it shows a pattern,” said Jeffrey Lee, the prosecutor.
Alfonzo Sirica, Dubin’s attorney, pointed out that his client did initially block the POP Squad member when he thought he was 14 and noted that the application they were using was intended for use by adults.
“Maybe entrapment is too strong of a word, but there’s certainly some enticing,” Sirica said of the sting operation.
During the hearing, Dubin, of 146 Delahunty Drive, was ordered not to contact anyone under 16 years of age and to comply with all of his sex offender address registry requirements. His case was continued to Sept. 13 for a plea.
Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.