Christopher Terranova, a police officer in New York City, was charged with four counts of trying to abuse children and coercion and enticement of a minor today in federal court in Brooklyn. At least one time, Terranova is said to have used his job as a police officer to get close to a crime victim. Terranova was caught this morning and will be formally charged by US Magistrate Judge Marcia M. Henry later today.
Breon Peace, who is the US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and James Smith, who is the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the FBI’s New York Field Office, made the arrest and charges public.
“The defendant is accused of preying on young people who were weak in the community he swore to protect,” said US Attorney Peace. “One of the main goals of this office will always be to protect minors from people who abuse their trust.” I strongly advise parents and other adults responsible for children to talk to their kids about the risks of talking to strangers and people who want to take advantage of them online.
Mr. Peace thanked the Internal Affairs Bureau of the New York City Police Department and the Richmond County District Attorney’s Office for their valuable cooperation and help during the probe.
FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Smith said, “The FBI takes crimes against children very seriously. It’s even more serious when it involves someone who took an oath to serve and protect and who the public holds to a higher standard.” “Terranova’s alleged bad behavior will probably last longer than any punishment he receives in the end.”
The FBI will catch people who try to conceal doing illegal things using their badge. Their job is to restore public faith in law enforcement. We want to thank our law enforcement partners and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York for their work on this case.
The indictment and other court papers say that Terranova used social media to have sexually explicit conversations with boys under the age of 18 and tried to get those boys to take sexually explicit pictures of themselves and send them to the defendant. Terranova lied to young boys he met in public or at work as a police officer by messaging them on popular social media sites like Snapchat. After getting to know the boys, Terranova asked them to take naked pictures with him. At least one time, Terranova pretended to be a ride-home driver for a boy from a party and took the boy to a remote area where he told the victim to have sex with him.
From March to May 2023, the suspect went after a 15-year-old boy named John Doe 3, who had been robbed. After looking at John Doe 3’s personal information in an NYPD database, Terranova called the victim’s personal phone to say he wanted to check on him after the theft. The suspect wrote, “Hi, my name is Chris Terranova, and I’m the police officer you met that day with your mom at the 121st Precinct.
I just wanted to check in with you and see how you were doing after what happened. I hate seeing good guys like you get hurt in this way.” After that, Terranova found John Doe 3 on social media and tried to start a chat with him about sexual activity and pornography. Terranova sent John Doe 3 a sexually explicit picture of himself and then sent the subject a message saying, “See, it’s nothing.” It’s your turn.”
The charges in the accusation are only suggestions. Until proven guilty, the defendant is thought to be innocent. If Terranova is found guilty, he will have to serve at least 15 years in prison and could spend the rest of his life in jail. The Office’s Civil Rights Section is in charge of the government’s case. Rachel Shanies and Lauren Howard Elbert are the assistant US attorneys in charge of the case.