According to the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Derrick O'Meara, who is the Director of the Oneida County Child Advocacy Center, a Utica man has been arrested for having inappropriate internet contact with an underage female child.

The investigation began on January 18, 2021, after a father in Canada had learned that his 10 year-old stepdaughter had been receiving inappropriate messages from an adult male who resides in the City of Utica. The father then contacted the Child Advocacy Center. The investigation was assigned to Sheriff’s Investigator Mark R. Chrysler.

Investigator Chrysler was able to assume the 10 year-old girl’s online identity and he continued the conversations with the male in Utica. During the investigation, it was learned that the male was Richard D. Kokoszki Jr, age 56. Over several weeks, the text conversations that Kokoszki had with Investigator Chrysler, whom he thought was a 10 year old female child, turned sexual in nature.

On March 15, 2021, members from the Child Advocacy Center, which included Investigators from the Sheriff’s Office, Utica Police Department, and Rome Police Department, along with the New York State Police Computer Crimes Unit (NYSP CCU) and the United States Department of Homeland Security, executed a search warrant at Kokoszki’s residence. Evidence was seized and later examined by the NYSP CCU and the Child Advocacy Center.

On March 18, 2021, Investigator Chrysler and Sheriff’s Investigator Nicholas Dean arrested Kokoszki at his residence and charged him with one count of attempted Dissemination of Indecent Material to a Minor, a Class E Felony.

Kokoszki was transported to the Utica Police Department where he was processed and later arraigned in Utica City Court. Due to New York State Bail Reform Laws, Kokoszki was released on his own recognizance.

An Order of Protection has been requested on behalf of the child in Canada.