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Guilty plea after hotel workers report Web activity

Employees at the Marriott Hotel in Hartford, Conn., took action over the summer when they spotted a man trying to access a pornographic website in their hotel, the Hartford Courant reports.

They banned the man from the hotel, and then alerted authorities, leading to an investigation by agencies including the Hartford Police, FBI and the Connecticut Computer Crimes Task Force.

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That investigation on Tuesday led to a guilty plea from the suspect who had been using Internet services almost daily at a variety of places including the hotel’s Starbucks Café and the nearby library, the article says.

He had previously been convicted of attempted child molestation, according to the FBI.

William Scott Van Wyk, 35, pleaded guilty in Hartford before U.S. District Judge Christopher Droney to a child pornography charge and one count of using the Internet to try to persuade a minor to engage in sexual activity, the story says.

He faces at least 15 years in prison, although he may receive a longer sentence due to his record.

The Courant’s story and FBI press release contain more details about Van Wyk’s past, including the fact that in 2000, he was convicted in Maricopa County for attempting to molest a child.

An examination of the man’s laptop revealed more than 500 pornographic images involving children, authorities say. The man will be sentenced on Jan. 27, the story says.

Readers: Would you say something if you saw someone with suspicious activity on their private laptop screen?

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