Matthew Brand, a 37 year old New Jersey man, has been charged with soliciting sex from a minor after asking an FBI agent posing as a 13 year old girl on the Internet if she wanted to be his Valentine.  Brand was arrested at the Port Authority Bus Terminal on February 12, 2004, where he had arranged a meeting with the girl.  An FBI complaint accused him of using the screen name tempoteech during Internet chats with the agent.  Brand, of Jackson, identified himself to the undercover as a voice teacher.

The feds are using a tough new anti-child porn law that requires fiends convicted of even minor sex crimes to spend at least five years in prison.  Brand will be one of the first prosecuted under the stricter penalties in New York.

The judge rejected Brand's argument that his kiddie-porn photos are unrelated to the charges and will allow them at the trial which starts January 18, 2005.  Brand pleaded not guilty.  Accused pedophiles typically plea bargain for a lighter sentence, but under the Child Protect Act of 2003, Brand faces up to 30 years and a minimum of five - even if he pleaded guilty.