Austin Ayers Winther, a former professor at Rider University was sentenced on Friday to more than seven years in prison. Winther, 65, has pleaded guilty in November to enticing a minor to travel interstate for illegal sex and attempted transfer of obscenity to a minor.
According to the Asbury Park Press, Winther had been in contact online with a supposed Idaho woman and her 13-year-old daughter for more than five months. Winther had asked the woman and her daughter to travel to Pennsylvania for a sexual tryst.
The ex-professor hadn't been in contact with a mother and daughter though, but in reality an undercover investigator. In March 2011, Winther went to the Philadelphia airport to meet the mother daughter pair, where he had intended to take them to a local hotel to have sex, reported the Philadelphia Inquirer. Instead of the mother and daughter, Winther was met at the airport by federal agents.
Besides serving more than seven years in prison, Winther will also have to register as a sexual offender upon his release, as well as be under 10 years of supervised release.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Winther told the judge Jan DuBois that he was appalled and sickened by his actions.
Teaching in the Graduate School of Education at Rider since 2005, Winther went on disability leave in October 2009. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sherri Stephan said that Winther had applied his skills as a professor in an attempt to exploit a child, reported the Philadelphia Inquirer.