A New Jersey actor who reportedly played prominent roles in a homosexual-themed play paralleling the life of Jesus Christ has been found guilty of seeking sex with someone he thought was a 14-year-old boy he met on the Internet.
Steven Shriner, right, plays Mary and Peter in ‘Corpus Christi’ (photo: Ulysses Theatre Comany)
Steven Shriner, 42, was convicted of attempted sexual assault, attempted luring/enticing of a child, and attempted criminal sexual contact. He faces up to ten years prison when sentenced Nov. 5.
“The verdict sends a loud and clear message that individuals who use the Internet to seek out and prey upon children will be uncovered, arrested, prosecuted and sent to jail,” said Vaughn L. McKoy, director of the state division of criminal justice.
“The Computer Analysis & Technology Unit will continue to patrol the Internet to identify sexual predators lurking behind the monitor to prevent them from luring unsuspecting children.”
According to the Trentonian newspaper, Shriner allegedly used his home computer in January of last year for the “express purpose of meeting and having sex with a boy.”
Deputy Attorney General Charles Ouslander said Shriner entered a sexually explicit chat room, thinking he was conversing with a teen boy, whose screen name was Timpit6668. In reality, Shriner was speaking with investigator Brian Damiani who was typing on his undercover computer at the Hughes Justice Complex in Trenton.
Shriner allegedly sought to meet Timpit6668, discussing the location and activities in which the two would engage.
He also sent a video clip of himself masturbating.
“I have more ; ) ,” Shriner allegedly wrote, according to printouts of the conversations.
The Trentonian says authorities closed in on the suspect at a pizza place in Hamilton, N.J., when he showed up and flashed his lights, which was the agreed code.
Armed with a search warrant, authorities recovered 24 images of suspected child pornography involving kids between the ages of 8 and 10.
Defense attorney Will Anklowitz said Shriner believed he was dealing with someone who was 18 years old at the time he entered the porn site, since a disclaimer at the chat room’s entrance stated users must be at least 18.
Shriner himself testified, “I never believed that I wasn’t talking to an adult.”
Shriner reportedly portrayed the characters of both Mary and the apostle Peter in “Corpus Christi,” a production of the Chicago-based Ulysses Theatre Company about a victim of “homophobes” in a Texas high school who eventually performs miracles for his 12 disciples.