A Virginia Beach man faces up to life in prison after pleading guilty Tuesday to charges of coercing and enticing a minor to engage in illegal sex acts.
Thomas W. Almberg, 50, a lieutenant in the Chesapeake Fire Department, went to social media sites so he could chat with teenage girls, according to a release from Dana J. Boente, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. In January, on the video game known as Clash of Clans, Almberg met a 15-year-old boy who was masquerading as a 16 year-old-girl. Almberg and the minor exchanged more than 8,000 text messages during the two months that followed, including some that were sexually graphic.
In April, Almberg met and had sexual conversations with a 16-year-old girl on a mobile chat application. They exchanged sexually explicit photographs. Almberg propositioned her for sex in May at her workplace in North Carolina and she rebuffed him. Not long after that, he was taken into custody.
Almberg was charged on Oct. 12 by criminal information.
U.S. District Judge Henry Coke Morgan Jr. in Norfolk accepted the plea Tuesday.
Almberg faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison and could be sentenced to as much as a life term.
He will be sentenced on Jan. 24, 2017.