3 men arrested in sting operations targeting child predators

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department announced sting operations resulting in the arrest of three men Tuesday on charges of being child predators.

The men attempted to use the Internet as a means of engaging children in sexual activity and were arrested by the Special Victims Bureau Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement Team, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

The first sting operation, conducted May 14, resulted in the arrest of Steven Brown, 64, a computer programmer from the Santa Clarita Valley area who was advertising for a young girl to engage in a sexual liason, officials said.

The second suspect, Joseph Dufrene, a 55-year-old aerospace worker from Palmdale, was arrested May 27, when he advertised to meet a younger female to have “daddy/daughter role play fun,” authorities said.


The final operation took place Friday and involved Ernest Mancuso, 63 from the Alhambra area, who advertised seeking to engage a young female in a “daddy/daughter” relationship.

In each case, the suspect thought he was communicating with a 14-year-old girl, authorities said. Despite having multiple opportunities to cancel the arranged meetings, each went to a nearby local park to meet a minor for sexual purposes.

Rather than encountering a teenage girl, the men were met by detectives from the special victims team, as well as agents from an FBI task force. Each suspect was arrested and charged with arranging to meet a minor with the purpose of a lewd act.

Brown and Dufrene were released after posting $75,000 bonds pending their arraignments. Mancuso remains in custody in lieu of $85,000 bail.


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