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Child porn sentencing halted when man spit blood at victim

NEWARK, N.J. - The sentencing of a New York man convicted of sex-related crimes involving two New Jersey teenagers was briefly halted Monday after he bit the inside of his mouth and spit blood at one of them.

Once the federal hearing resumed, Clifford Wares eventually was sentenced to life in prison.

Wares, 43, of Warwick, was convicted last month on several counts, including child pornography production and interstate travel to engage in illicit sexual conduct. He didn't attend all of his trial, saying he feared he couldn't control himself.

On Monday, the judge also found Wares guilty of obstruction of justice after determining that he sent anonymous letters threatening his victims and their families.

U.S. marshals tackled the shackled Wares when he began spitting at the girl, who was passing between the defense and prosecution tables after completing her victim impact statement. The marshals wrestled Wares to the ground and put a hooded net over his head, then escorted him out of the courtroom to a holding cell.

Prosecutors say Wares met a 14-year-old girl online in June 2011. They say he regularly engaged in sexually explicit communications with her over the next three months and sent her pornographic images, and also told her he was interested in "hanging out" with her.

Wares eventually drove from his home to Passaic County in northern New Jersey, according to the prosecution, where he picked up the teen in his vehicle and the two then engaged in sex acts in a nearby park. After a second encounter, Wares threatened to harm the girl's reputation and property when she refused to meet him again.

Prosecutors say he also communicated online with a 13-year-old girl for three months in 2011. They say he used a fake Facebook account to pretend to be a child she knew and had her send photos and videos of herself engaging in sex acts. On some occasions when she did not comply, Wares threatened to distribute the girl's nude images to her parents and friends, the prosecution says.

Wares was captured in 2012 after a search was conducted via land and helicopter in a park near where he lives. He had handcuffs, a roll of duct tape, a knife and a handwritten list of the names of other children his victims knew, authorities have said.

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