Ex-NYPD officer charged with sex offenses involving minors

Ex-NYPD officer charged with sex offenses involving minors


A former Staten Island police officer was arrested Thursday for allegedly sexually abusing underage boys, including ones he met while on the job, federal prosecutors said.

Christopher Terranova, 34, was arraigned in Brooklyn Federal Court on a four-count indictment charging him with attempting to exploit children as well as coercion and enticement of a minor.

“The defendant allegedly preyed upon vulnerable youth in the same community he was sworn to protect,” Breon Peace, the United States attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said in a statement. “Protecting minors from those who violate their position of trust will always be a priority of this Office. I urge parents and caregivers to have conversations with their children about the dangers of communicating online with strangers and individuals who seek to exploit them.”

Terranova allegedly used Snapchat to ask underage boys as young as 12-years-old for explicit photographs, prosecutors said. On one occasion, officials alleged he sexually assaulted a 15-year-old family friend, offering him a ride home from a party but instead taking him to a secluded location and directing him to engage in sex acts, prosecutors said.

He was suspended from the NYPD earlier this year and later retired.

On Thursday, his attorney Vinoo Varghese downplayed the charges in a statement emailed to Gothamist.

“Chris is innocent and looks forward to clearing his name. What the feds charged in the indictment is what was previously charged by the Staten Island DA. The only link to a federal crime is a cell phone and social media because those go over wires. Anything can be a federal crime,” Vinoo Varghese said. “Chris is a sexy target because he was NYPD.”

According to federal prosecutors, the abuse took place between February 2022, to May 2023, when Terranova was first arrested and charged in Staten Island criminal court with sex crimes against minors.

Prosecutors said Terranova used his position as a police officer to gain access to another 15-year-old robbery victim, looking up his contact information in an NYPD database.

“it’s Chris Terranova the cop you met at the 121 that day with mom , i just wanted to reach out to see if you were doing ok after the incident, I hate seeing these things happen to good Guys like yourself,” he texted the victim, according to the indictment.

Later, he allegedly contacted the teen on social media, talking about masturbation, pornography and tried pressuring him into sending sexually explicit images, the indictment said.

“See it’s nothing. Your turn,” he once texted, after sending the 15-year-old an explicit photo of himself.

Terranova pleaded not guilty to the federal charges, and previously pleaded not guilty to the charges in criminal court.

If convicted, Terranova faces a minimum sentence of 15 years in prison, with a maximum sentence of life.


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