By Rachel Stengel
Dr. Austin Ayers Winther, former professor in the Graduate School of Education at Rider, pled guilty on Monday to charges resulting from an online FBI sex sting in March, according to a press release issued by the United States Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Winther, 65, of Philadelphia pled guilty to one count of attempting to entice another individual to travel interstate commerce to engage in illegal sexual activity and four counts of attempting to transfer obscene matter to a child less than 16 years of age, the press release said.
On March 15, Winther arrived at the Philadelphia International Airport where he believed he was picking up a woman and her 13-year-old daughter from Idaho, whom he met online and had arranged to have sex with at a nearby hotel.
Instead, Winther met federal agents who arrested him for sex charges after a five-month undercover investigation by Boise, Idaho Detective Jason Pietrzak, who posed as the mother and daughter in the online chat program XChat.
Since his arrest in March, Winther has been held in custody.
Sentencing for the case has been scheduled for April 13, 2012 by U.S. District Court Judge Jan E. DuBois.
“Winther faces an advisory sentencing guideline range of 78 to 97 months in prison, a $1.25 million fine, a $500 special assessment and a mandatory minimum of five years supervised release,” according to the press release.
The university declined to comment further on the incident.