Navy officer sentenced in sexual coercion of a minor case

by Vern Evans

A Navy psychologist was sentenced to 14 years in prison for attempted coercion and enticement of a minor late last month, according to the Department of Justice.

Navy officer Michael Andrew Widroff, 34, served as a psychologist in Norfolk, Virginia, when he was arrested on June 7, 2023, after traveling to meet who he believed was a 14-year-old girl to have sex, according to a May 24 Justice Department statement announcing the sentencing.

That girl was actually an undercover Naval Criminal Investigative Service agent. Widroff pleaded guilty in October.

He first came to the attention of authorities in May 2023, after he posted a photo of a man dressed in Navy service dress whites on the social media platform Whisper, “with accompanying text indicating that he wished to engage in fraternization or other violations of military law,” according to the feds.

NCIS agents then responded to the post, posing as a 14-year-old girl.

Widroff soon moved the conversation off Whisper and on to Snapchat, where he “escalated the communications from casual to sexual,” according to the Justice Department.

“Widroff described to the child, in graphic detail, numerous sexual acts in which he wanted them to engage,” according to the statement.

He asked for “sexy” and nude photos, in addition to sexual recordings, according to the statement.

Widroff also asked numerous times for the 14-year-old to share the location of her house.

“Expressing anxiety about being seen, Widroff planned to enter her home through the back door,” the Justice Department said.

Widroff deleted Snapchat from his phone as cops pulled him over in the neighborhood where he believed the girl lived on June 7, 2023.

An attorney for Widroff did not respond to a request for comment.

Zamone “Z” Perez is a reporter at Military Times. He previously worked at Foreign Policy and Ufahamu Africa. He is a graduate of Northwestern University, where he researched international ethics and atrocity prevention in his thesis. He can be found on Twitter @zamoneperez.

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