NKY foster parent gets 33 years for posing as adopted son online to ‘catfish’ others
BOONE COUNTY, Ky. (ENQUIRER) - A Florence, Kentucky foster parent, who sexually abused underage boys and posed as his adopted son to catfish others online was sentenced in federal court in Covington to 33 years in prison on Wednesday, according to our media partners at the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Harry Gilbert Forgue III, 31, pleaded guilty in August to two counts of production of child pornography, court records show.
At the time the abuse came to light, eight boys − ranging from 6 to 17 years old − were living with Forgue, some of whom were being fostered, court documents say. One of the boys had been adopted, the Enquirer reports.
According to a plea agreement, the Department for Community Based Services in Boone County received a report in April 2020 that Forgue had been abusing and underage boy.
An investigation by the Boone County Sheriff’s Office uncovered that Forgue had sexually abused other underage boys, the plea agreement states. The abuse occurred from October of 2016 through April of 2020 when Forgue was 25 to 28 years old, according to the Enquirer.
Forgue was a “prolific producer and trader of child pornography,” federal prosecutors said in court documents.
Forgue’s adopted son, who was 16 years old at the time, told investigators Forgue was often on dating apps, where he would pose as the teen to “catfish” other users, prosecutors said.
One of those users was a 17-year-old boy from Mason, Ohio, whom Forgue later met in person and had sex with, prosecutors said. He also solicited sexually explicit images from the teen while posing as his adopted son.
“The deception runs incredibly deep,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Elaine Leonhard said of Forgue’s online activity.
In March 2021, Forgue was sentenced in Boone County to 20 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to charges of sodomy, sexual abuse, video voyeurism, possession of matter portraying a sexual performance by a minor and tampering with evidence.
As part of that sentence, he was ordered to register as a sex offender for life, according to the Enquirer.
“I understand what I did was wrong,” Forgue said in court on Wednesday. “Looking back, I wish I never did the things that I did.”
U.S. District Court Judge David Bunning agreed with prosecutors’ recommendation that 12 years of Forgue’s sentence run concurrently with his sentence out of Boone County. Upon being let go from prison, Forgue will be under supervised release for 15 years.
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