Abilene, Texas, Resident Faces Up To 10 Years In Federal Prison For Failing To Register As A Sex Offender
LUBBOCK, Texas — John Brandon Rice, 25, most recently a resident of Abilene, Texas, appeared in federal court in Lubbock yesterday and pleaded guilty, before U.S. District Judge Sam R. Cummings, to one count of failing to register as a sex offender. Rice, who is in custody, faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine and a lifetime of supervised release. Judge Cummings ordered a presentence investigation report with a sentencing date to be set after the completion of that report. Today’s announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.
According to documents filed in the case, in January 2009, Rice was sentenced in California for the felony sex offense of unlawful sexual intercourse and was sentenced to a three-year term of probation with a condition that he serve 180 days in jail. In May 2010, the probated sentence was terminated and a state prison term of 32 months was imposed. As a result of this conviction, Rice was required under California law to register as a sex offender for life.
In June 2012, Rice began residing in Abilene and working as a landscaper and for a roofing business. Rice admits that he knowingly failed to register and update his registration as a sex offender because he had an outstanding parole warrant from California and he did not want them to know where he was. Under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), persons who are required to register as sex offenders are required to register within three days of moving from one state to another.
The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative, which was launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice, to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals, who sexually exploit children, and identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/. For more information about Internet safety education, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/ and click on the tab “resources.”
The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Marshals Service. Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven M. Sucsy is in charge of the prosecution.