WASHINGTON – Paul Edward Pavulak, 66, of New Castle, Del., was convicted today by a federal jury in Wilmington of child exploitation offenses, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney for the District of Delaware David C. Weiss.
Pavulak was convicted of one count of attempted production of child pornography, one count of attempted enticement and coercion of a minor to engage in sexual activity, one count of possession of child pornography, one count of failure to register and update a registration as a sex offender, and one count of committing a felony offense involving a minor while being required to register as a sex offender. Pavulak was originally indicted on these five counts on April 16, 2009.
According to evidence presented at trial, from September 2008 to January 2009, Pavulak developed an online relationship with a young woman in the Philippines who had a two-year-old daughter. In December 2008, Pavulak traveled to the Philippines and met the woman and her daughter. Using his digital camera, Pavulak produced a sexually explicit movie of himself and the woman, and described the movie as the two-year-old girl’s "training video." Following his return to the United States in January 2009, Pavulak attempted to produce child pornography of the two-year-old girl via a web camera during an online instant chat message exchange with the woman.
On Jan. 19, 2009, the Delaware State Police executed a search warrant at a concrete company’s office in New Castle, where Pavulak had been living and working. During the search, Delaware State Police seized digital media evidence, including computers, a camera and a mobile phone. Upon review of the seized materials, investigators discovered thousands of images depicting the sexual abuse of minors on the computers. These images included depictions of children ranging in age from infancy to mid-teens engaging in sexual acts with adult males. On a mobile phone and a computer, the investigators also found sexually explicit communications between Pavulak and the woman regarding her daughter, in which they discussed having the woman prepare the child to engage in sexual activity with Pavulak when he returned to the Philippines.
Evidence at trial established that Pavulak was convicted in 1998 and 2005 of second degree unlawful sexual contact with minors. As a result of these convictions, federal and state law required Pavulak to register as a sex offender and to provide the registry with the address of his employer and his residence. Between July 2008 and January 2009, Pavulak consistently reported to the Delaware State Police that he was unemployed and that he lived in a motel. Evidence at trial showed that Pavulak worked for a concrete company owned by his children and also resided in a room at the company’s office.
Due to his prior convictions and his commission of these offenses while being required to register as a sex offender, Pavulak faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 45 years in prison and a fine up to $250,000.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov .
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward J. McAndrew of the District of Delaware, and Trial Attorneys Bonnie L. Kane and Andrew McCormack of CEOS. The case was investigated by the Delaware State Police’s Child Predator Task Force and High Technology Crimes Unit, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations.