Court papers quote ex-lawmaker as having experiences with girls

Section: Main,  Page: A3

Date: Thursday, October 16, 2008

ALBANY -- Former state Parole Board member George "Chris" Ortloff told an undercover cop he once molested two young girls, watched child pornography with the officer and planned "homework" for two young sex partners, court papers charged late Wednesday.

The details were revealed in an 18-page detention memo federal prosecutors made public as they hoped to keep the former Plattsburgh-area assemblyman behind bars without bail in the Albany County jail.

Ortloff, 61, faces 10 years to life imprisonment after being arrested in a child sex sting at an undisclosed Colonie hotel. Federal prosecutors in Albany say Ortloff tried to arrange sexual trysts Monday with two children, ages 11 and 12 after communicating with their "mother," the undercover officer.

But according to their memo, Ortloff's alleged interest in young children is nothing new. It not only quoted him admitting to watching child pornography, but stated, "Ortloff explained that a number of years ago, while he was an adult, he engaged in sexual acts with a 12-year-old girl and a 9-year-old girl."

His attorney, Andrew Safranko, said he needed to review the detention memo, but said that allegation was "not true."

Court papers say Ortloff met the undercover State Police investigator at Albany International Airport on Monday, claiming to have flown in, and they went to the hotel. He was arrested that afternoon, but first allegedly viewed child pornography with the undercover cop and showcased sex toys for his would-be partners. He allegedly told the would-be mother, "I want them to practice with them. That's going to be their homework."

The alleged rendezvous was thwarted only after Ortloff became "buck naked," court papers and people familiar with the case have said.

Ortloff, a 2006 appointee to the Parole Board, resigned Wednesday.

Court papers said that among other admissions to the undercover officer, Ortloff stopped short of labeling himself as a pedophile.

"I asked myself ... I always ask myself when I'm doing something new, is this right or wrong?" Ortloff allegedly asked. "Do I have a moral problem with this, and honestly I don't have a moral problem with this because I started when I was young, and you started when you were young, and here we are. It didn't ruin us ..."

Then, with a laugh, he added, "Or maybe it did."

The detention memo traced the series of events leading to his arrest to March 6, when the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children sent three tips to investigators about child porn allegedly sent on America Online a day earlier. Investigators soon learned the "images were sent from a hotel in which Ortloff was a registered guest on the day and at the time the images were sent," court papers said,

After police checked for several Internet screen names listed for Ortloff, they found the parole official with an online group in June, allegedly posting that "he would like to meet and get to know younger families." Court papers allege he listed sexual interests including that included "preteen."

The undercover investigator then began the series of communications with Ortloff, the memo explained.

Ortloff is charged with soliciting underage sex through interstate commerce, in this case the Internet.

Among other details alleged:

Ortloff told the cop he raised his own children "very open about sex and nudity from birth." He also discussed his own sexual experiences at age 9 with an 11-year-old girl and her underage friends.

When asked by the undercover cop if he liked watching "beautiful young girls," he replied, "Of course I do! I would be lying if I said I didn't. Over the years I've seen almost everything, I think."

The court papers allege Ortloff used a fake name while meeting the cop, knew his acts were illegal and was wary of being "set up" by law enforcement.

Robert Gavin can be reached at 434-2403 or