Biography:Patrick Naughton

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Short description: American computer scientist

Patrick Naughton
NationalityUnited States
EducationClarkson University
Occupationsoftware developer / executive
Known forthe Java programming language, internet sex crime[1] and the fantasy defense.[2]
Criminal charge(s)traveling in interstate commerce with the intent to have sex with a minor, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §2423(b).[3][4][5]
Criminal penaltysentenced to five years of probation, nine months of home detention and ordered to pay a $20,000 fine[6]
Criminal statusguilty[1]

Patrick Naughton is an American software developer and convicted sex offender. He is one of the creators of the Java programming language.


Early career

In 1983, Naughton co-wrote a MacPaint clone, Painter's Apprentice, with Russ Nelson.[7]

Sun Microsystems

As a Sun Microsystems engineer, Patrick Naughton had become frustrated with the state of Sun's C++ and C APIs (application programming interfaces) and tools.[citation needed] While considering moving to NeXT, Naughton was offered a chance to work on new technology and thus the Stealth Project was started.[citation needed]

The Stealth Project was soon renamed to the Green Project with James Gosling and Mike Sheridan joining Naughton. Together with other engineers, they began work in a small office on Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park, California. They were attempting to develop a new technology for programming next generation smart appliances, which Sun expected to be a major new opportunity.[8][self-published source][9]

In June and July 1994, after three days of brainstorming with John Gage, the Director of Science for Sun, James Gosling, Bill Joy, Naughton, Wayne Rosing, and Eric Schmidt, the team re-targeted the platform for the World Wide Web. They felt that with the advent of the first graphical web browser, Mosaic, the Internet was on its way to evolving into the same highly interactive medium that they had envisioned for cable TV. As a prototype, Naughton wrote a small browser, WebRunner, later renamed HotJava.[10]

After Sun

In 1994, Naughton quit Sun for Starwave (then a property of Paul Allen) to develop server Java applications for web sites.[10] He was the author of "The Java Handbook", (ISBN:0-07-882199-1, Osborne, 1995) and co-author of Java: The Complete Reference, with Herbert Schildt (ISBN:0-07-882231-9, Osborne, 1996)

In 1998, Walt Disney Internet Group acquired Starwave and amalgamated it with Infoseek in the Go Network company. As a result, Naughton became executive vice president of Infoseek.

After his arrest in 1999, Naughton was fired from Infoseek.[4]

Sex crime arrest and conviction

On Sept. 14, 1999, Naughton flew from Seattle to Los Angeles on a private Disney jet.[11] expecting a five-foot, blonde haired 13-year-old girl to wait on the pier near the roller coaster, carrying a green backpack as instructed by Naughton.[2] Naughton had written to her about love and sex and that he "wanted to get [her] alone in his hotel room and have [her] strip naked for him".[2] Naughton had arranged this meeting, posing as "Hot Seattle", his online predator handle[3] in an online chat room called "dad&daughtersex."[12] The "girl" was actually an FBI agent.[6]

Two days later, he was arrested by the FBI and was charged with traveling in interstate commerce with the intent to have sex with a minor, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §2423(b).[3][4][5] After a trial ended in a hung jury, Naughton struck a plea agreement where he took a reduced sentence and admitted that he traveled from Seattle to Los Angeles last September with a "dominant purpose" to engage in sexual acts with "KrisLA", an online chat buddy he believed was a 13-year-old girl.[1] He ended up serving no prison time, in exchange for working for the FBI for free for a year.[13][14]

Novel defense

His line of defense was that he claimed he was persuaded to participate online in a ritualized sexual role-playing exercise, dealing with a mature woman acting as a girl.[14] His then-novel defense, became known as the fantasy defense for pedophiles.[2]

See also

  • History of Java
  • Online identity
  • Sexual predator
  • Internet-initiated sex crimes against minors


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Deane, Joel (March 20, 2000). "Cybersex sting: Naughton pleads guilty". ZDNet. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Yamagami, Donald S. (2000-01-01). "Prosecuting Cyber-Pedophiles: How Can Intent Be Shown in a Virtual World in Light of the Fantasy Defense?". Santa Clara Law Review 41 (2). Retrieved 3 January 2014. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "The Fantasy Defense". CBS News. 2000-05-31. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Patrick Doesn't Work Here Anymore". Wired News. December 1999. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 "CEO: Naughton said 'I did it'". 1999-12-09.,1000000189,2075734,00.htm. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 "National News Briefs; Executive Is Sentenced In Internet Sex Sting". New York Times. August 10, 2000. 
  7. Patrick Naughton (1997). Java Handbook. Tata McGraw-Hill Publishing Company Limited. 
  8. Patrick Naughton. "Java Was Strongly Influenced by Objective-C". 
  9. "Java Technology: The Early Years". Sun Microsystems. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 "Le cadre, le piège et la loi" (in fr). 
  11. Deane, Joel (March 18, 2000). "The rise and fall of Patrick Naughton". ZDNet. 
  12. Yamagami, Donald S. (2000-01-01). "Prosecuting Cyber-Pedophiles: How Can Intent Be Shown in a Virtual World in Light of the Fantasy Defense?". Santa Clara Law Review 41 (2): 573. Retrieved 3 January 2014. 
  13. "Patrick Naughton faces retrial". 2000-10-13.,139023165,120104206,00.htm. 
  14. 14.0 14.1 "Paper 2: Legal Treatment Of Online Identity". 2006-04-29. "At his criminal trial, Naughton employed what has come to be known as the "fantasy defense": citing his technical sophistication and the adult tone of his interlocutor's conversation, he claimed that he believed her to be an adult woman playing the role of a teenage girl; which, indeed, she was, although for different reasons from those Naughton claimed to have believed." 

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