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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Idaho

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, March 17, 2014

Former Eagle Resident Pleads Guilty To Child Sexual Exploitation Offenses

Man was Fugitive for Ten Years

BOISE — Gerald Lee Farrell, Jr., 46, formerly of Eagle, Idaho, pleaded guilty today in United States District Court to one count of interstate travel with a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity and one count of possessing sexually explicit images of minors, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. Farrell entered his plea in front of visiting Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge A. Wallace Tashima, who was hearing the case by designation.

Farrell was indicted by a federal grand jury in Boise in September 2004. A superseding indictment was returned in October 2004. Farrell had been a fugitive since January of 2004. He was arrested in Spain in July 2013 and extradited to the United States in December 2013.

According to the plea agreement, Farrell and his wife became a host family for a 16-year-old German female exchange student in August 2003. The plea agreement further states that throughout the fall of 2003, the defendant sought various opportunities to observe the girl nude or partially nude and that he engaged her in conversations of a sexual nature. In December 2003, Farrell took the girl to Nevada. One night, she woke up to find the defendant lying across her stomach and trying to remove her panties. The girl was able to push the defendant away. According to the plea agreement, the girl told others about Farrell’s conduct when they returned to Idaho. Ada County Sheriff’s Office deputies executed a search warrant at Farrell’s Eagle home on January 4, 2004, and seized his computer and other items. Farrell and his wife fled Idaho for Switzerland approximately a week later. According to the plea agreement, a forensic examiner found video files of children under 18 engaging in sexually explicit conduct on Farrell’s seized computer hard drive. These images were of minors other than the foreign exchange student.

“This case shows that law enforcement at all levels is committed to aggressively pursuing those who would sexually exploit children,” said Olson. “Perpetrators of these crimes against our children cannot run and cannot hide. We will be patient, and we will find you. I commend the persistence of FBI Special Agent Mary Martin and the now-retired Ada County Sheriff’s Office detectives who worked long hours over many years to bring Mr. Farrell to justice. I also commend the many civilian witnesses, including those with the foreign exchange student program and the victim in this case, for their cooperation and readiness to testify so long after the crimes were committed.”

The charge of interstate travel with a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity is punished by a minimum of five years and a maximum of thirty years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, and up to lifetime supervised release. The charge of possession of sexually explicit images of minors is punishable by up to ten years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, and up to lifetime supervised release.

Sentencing is set for May 27, 2014, before the Hon. Dee V. Benson, U.S. District Judge for the District of Utah, at the federal courthouse in Boise.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Ada County Sheriff’s Office.