Former Naval War College Faculty Member Pleads Not Guilty in Child Sex Case

Students from the U.S. Naval War College’s 2017 graduating class.
Students from the U.S. Naval War College’s 2017 graduating class participate in a commencement ceremony in Newport, Rhode Island. The graduating class of 2017 included 423 resident students of the Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, federal civilian employees and 105 international students. Additionally, 1,079 students completed coursework through NWC’s College of Distance Education programs. (Jess Lewis/U.S. Navy Released)

PROVIDENCE (AP) -- A former faculty member at the Naval War College in Newport has pleaded not guilty to engaging in sex with a minor and other charges.

Ronald Zenga, previously of Middletown, faces a federal indictment that alleges he took a minor across state lines and another country for sex.

The 44-year-old Zenga was indicted on eight counts including enticement or coercion of a minor to engage in illicit sexual activity, transportation of minor with intent to engage in sexual activity and distribution and possession of child pornography.

Authorities say Zenga used a Russian website to communicate with a law enforcement agent in England, where the case started, to graphically describe an ongoing sexual encounter with a young child.

His attorney, John MacDonald, did not oppose Zenga's continued detention and declined to comment after Thursday's hearing.

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