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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Imprisoned Sex Offender Sentenced To 10 Years In Prison For New Offense

Began with Anonymous Contact on Facebook

BOISE — Jeremy E. Durkin, 35, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, was sentenced today to 120 months in federal prison, with credit for time served, for use of a facility of interstate commerce to transmit information about a minor, with the intent to entice the victim into criminal sexual activity, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge also ordered Durkin to serve ten years of supervised release following his release from prison. Durkin pleaded guilty on September 19, 2013.

According to the plea agreement, the matter came to the attention of law enforcement on September 23, 2010, when, during routine cell search at the Idaho State Correctional Institution, a corrections officer found a letter on Durkin's bunk which referenced a Yahoo e-mail account. The letter, written by Durkin, referred to the intended recipient as “you sexy sixteen-year-old.” In the letter, Durkin is asking someone he referred to in the greeting as “my Love,” to keep his (Durkin’s) Yahoo e-mail account active by logging on to it once a month and deleting all incoming mail. The letter further states: “This way I wont loose [sic] all the photos have up there. I don't really want to ask anybody else cuz there is naked photos of you that I don't want anybody to see.” Department of Corrections officials referred the matter to the FBI.

The FBI identified the victim as a high school student in Oregon. When interviewed, the youth told agents that Durkin initiated contact with him in December 2009 on Facebook. The victim further stated that Durkin (whom the victim did not know prior to that time) persuaded him to call a telephone number in Idaho. The two spoke telephonically and “hit it off,” according to the youth. Durkin initially gave the youth a false name, but not long after they met online, he gave the youth his true name. According to the victim, Durkin knew the victim was 15 years old at the time.

According to the plea agreement, from December 2009 until the summer 2010 Durkin was in constant contact with the victim via e-mail, telephone and U.S. Mail. The youth described their relationship as being almost immediately romantic and sexual, and said they exchanged sexually explicit photos. A search of Durkin’s Yahoo! account confirmed these allegations. The two never met in person. Their relationship was entirely via Facebook, telephone, e-mail and U.S. Mail.

Durkin is a previously convicted sex offender. In 2005, Durkin pleaded guilty in Kootenai County, Idaho, to one count of lewd conduct with a child under age 16. He was on parole at the time the incidents occurred that resulted in the federal charge. Durkin’s parole was revoked in the summer of 2010 and he was returned to prison. He is currently serving a prison his sentence on the Kootenai County case at the Idaho Department of Correction and is scheduled for release in 2016.

The charge of use of a facility of interstate commerce to transmit information about a minor, with the intent to entice the victim into criminal sexual activity, when committed by a person with a prior sex offense conviction, is punishable by up to ten years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000.00, and up to lifetime supervised release.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Idaho Department of Correction investigated the case. Both agencies are members of the Idaho Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, a statewide coalition of local, state and federal law enforcement and prosecution agencies, focused on apprehending and prosecuting individuals who use the Internet to criminally exploit children. For more information about the Idaho ICAC Task Force and a list of all the participating agencies, visit www.icacidaho.org.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”