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Fairfax man tried to ‘groom’ minors, sent explicit photos, prosecutors say

Brian McGalem (via Alexandria Sheriff’s Office)

A 24-year-old man is expected to spend at least 15 years in prison for engaging in sexually explicit discussions with at least six children and trying to get several of them to send explicit pictures of themselves, prosecutors say.

Brian Scott McGalem of Fairfax agreed to a plea deal on March 11 admitting guilt to charges of attempted production of child pornography and possession of child porn.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, he sent sexually explicit content of himself to multiple minors, and his electronic devices contained images and videos of child sex abuse.

“At least three of the minor victims were under the age of 12 at the time of the offense,” the Justice Department said in a news release. “During these discussions, which took place on several social media platforms under the monikers ‘Random Hipster#2429’ and ‘Sircoolbeans,’ McGalem attempted to groom and entice the minors to record themselves engaging in sexually explicit activity.”

For one victim, contacted through the gaming console PlayStation and messaging platform Discord, McGalem tried to get the 9-year-old boy to send sexually explicit images of himself and had sexual conversations with him, according to a special agent with the Department of Homeland Security’s Child Exploitation Unit in Reston.

McGalem eventually mailed a gaming headset to the boy’s home in Frederick County, Maryland. His mother, who was unfamiliar with the sender’s name on the FedEx package, then found out about the chats and contacted the sheriff’s office, according to the agent’s affidavit.

“The chats included Random Hipster#2429 stating he had anal sex with an eleven-year-old boy,” the affidavit said.

McGalem also asked the 9-year-old in online chats if he was circumcised, said he wanted to date the boy, and offered to invite him to a party, the special agent stated.

Under the plea deal, McGalem will have to register as a sex offender and pay victims $3,000 or more in restitution. He could also face up to a $250,000 fine and other costs.

He’s scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 17. Officials said he faces at least 15 years in prison as a mandatory minimum.

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