FRANKLIN, Mass. – An editor for the publishing company that puts out the Weekly Reader (search) children's newspaper was fired after he allegedly solicited sex from a minor over the Internet.
Noel E. Neff (search), 46, of Norwalk, Conn., was arrested by FBI agents last Saturday at the Franklin Village Mall, where authorities say he expected to meet a 14-year-old boy named "Chris" he met online in April. "Chris" was actually an undercover FBI agent.
"Mr. Neff's employment has been terminated," Mia Toschi, a spokeswoman for Weekly Reader Corp. of Stamford, Conn., said Wednesday. "We remain deeply troubled by this report and will cooperate fully with the authorities."
According to an FBI affidavit, Neff sent the undercover agent a picture of himself in his underwear and said he'd had sex with other boys he'd met online.
He was charged earlier this week in U.S. District Court with soliciting sex from a minor across state lines. He is free on $25,000 unsecured bond.
There was no answer Thursday at a phone listing for Noel Neff in Norwalk, Conn.