Authorities seek Md. tips on sex-case defendant

Canadian visited Salisbury in March

August 10, 2006

Federal authorities are trying to determine whether a Canadian who drove to Georgia in march for what he thought would be sexual activity with a 10-year-old girl had victimized a child during a stop on Maryland's Eastern shore along the way.

Joseph John Palassio, 61, of Kingston, Ontario, pleaded guilty yesterday in Atlanta's U.S. District Court to charges of us ing the Internet in an attempt to entice a child to engage in sexu al activity and traveling across state lines with the in tent of sex with a 10-year-old girl in Georgia - who in reality was an FBI agent he had con tacted through an online chat room, federal authorities said.

Palassio, who stopped in Salis bury on March 12, is believed to have been in the area for at least two days, and had said he was going to Maryland "to meet a mother and 11-year-old girl there to engage in sexual activ ity with them," according to the U.S. attorney's office for the Northern District of Georgia.

Authorities issued a photo graph of Palassio, and asked that anyone with information about any contact he might have had with children in Mary land to call the FBI in Atlanta at 404-679-9000 or local police.

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