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Man caught in online sex predator sting pleads to charge

Judge sentences Ciskanik to five years for attempted indecent liberties with child

By Alex Bridges -- abridges@nvdaily.com

WINCHESTER -- A Manassas man caught two years ago in a sting targeting Internet sex predators pleaded guilty to a lesser charge Tuesday.

Judge John Prosser sentenced Thomas Michael Ciskanik, 48, of 9725 Manassas Forge Drive, in Frederick County Circuit Court to five years in prison for one count of attempted indecent liberties with a child under the age of 15 years old.

Prosser suspended four years and 10 days of the term and ordered Ciskanik to serve three years of supervised probation upon release. The judge deferred until July 8, 2010, the disposition of Ciskanik's second charge.

The judge had scheduled Ciskanik's case for a jury trial Thursday. Prosser denied a motion filed by Ciskanik's attorney in mid-August seeking a continuance because their client had not completed a mental health evaluation.

Authorities arrested Ciskanik at Sherando Park near Stephens City on Dec. 20, 2007. He and an undercover officer posing as a 14-year-old girl agreed to meet at the park after the two chatted online. Court documents indicated the conversations had become sexual in nature.

Authorities originally had charged Ciskanik with one count each of using a communications system to solicit sex from a minor and attempted indecent liberties with a minor. Computer solicitation carries a maximum penalty of 30 years and attempted indecent liberties up to five years in a penitentiary.

The plea agreement reached between Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Dennis J. McLoughin Jr. and the defendant's counsel, John J. Irving and Kimberly A. Irving, called for the computer solicitation charge to be reduced to attempted indecent liberties, to which Ciskanik would plead guilty.

Ciskanik also pleaded guilty to the second attempted indecent liberties charge, per the agreement, which Prosser accepted.

Under the deal, Ciskanik received five-year, consecutive prison terms with all but 11 months and 20 days of each sentence suspended. The terms would be staggered, allowing the defendant to serve the time in a local jail, rather than in the state prison system. After six months of service of the second sentence, the defendant may file a motion to ask the court to reconsider whether he should serve the balance of his active jail time, the agreement states.

Ciskanik must forfeit any and all items seized in the investigation, according to the agreement.

According to the terms of Ciskanik's probation, he must complete a mental health evaluation and follow his doctor's recommendations; undertake any treatment and follow recommendations by his parole officer; have absolutely no access to the Internet or any device, including cell phones or personal data assistants capable of accessing the Internet.

Ciskanik also is forbidden from entering any chat room, using social networking sites, and sending or receiving any e-mails, texts, instant messages or similar communications. However, he will be able to use the Internet while at work for purposes solely related to his job.

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