CORTLAND, N.Y. — Shortly before Christmas, a Cortland County grand jury indicted a Cincinnatus man of sending sexual messages to and trying to seduce a 12-year-old.
According to the indictment signed Dec. 21, Clifton H. Bergman, 49, contacted the child in early June with a message that “...in whole, or in part, depicted actual or simulated nudity, sexual conduct or sadomasochistic abuse…”
Later that month, Bergman sent a message to the child inviting the 12-year-old to participate in a sex act, according to the indictment. The grand jury also accused Bergman of endangering the child’s welfare from April 27 to June 18, according to the court document.
Bergman was indicted on one count each of first- and second-degree disseminating indecent material to minors, felonies, and endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor, according to the court document. If convicted, Bergman could face a prison sentence of up to seven years for the first charge, up to four years for the second charge and up to a year for the last charge, according to state penal law.
The messages were reported on June 19 to the Homer police school resource officer, said Trooper Aga Dembinska, a state police public information officer. After an investigation, state police arrested Bergman on July 6 following an interview at the state police barracks on Route 281 in Homer, Dembinska said.
Bergman sent multiple sexual messages to the child over social media, she said. Bergman was known to the 12-year-old, but not related, Dembinska added.
A judge issued a no-contact order of protection against Bergman on the child’s behalf, she said. Bergman was initially remanded to the Cortland County Correctional Facility and was later released on his own recognizance, Dembinska said. Bergman was released on July 12, according to the jail.
Bergman was arrested in January 2014 on charges of felony manufacturing methamphetamine and unlawful possession of marijuana after a Cortland County Sheriff’s Department raid on a recreational vehicle he shared with Wendy L. Bellefluer in Cortlandville, according to area media reports. Bergman was arrested again in March 2014 for possessing pseudoephedrine, an essential ingredient to make meth. The dispensation of the cases was not immediately available Monday.