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GULF BREEZE MAN SENTENCED TO TEN YEARS FOR TRAVELING TO ALABAMA FOR SEX WITH A MINOR

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 10, 2011

PENSACOLA, FLORIDA– Kenneth Eugene Haynes, 60, of Gulf Breeze, was sentenced in federal court this morning for attempting to entice a minor female over the internet and traveling to Alabama to engage in sexual activity with her, announced Pamela C. Marsh, U.S. Attorney for Northern District of Florida.

The two-count indictment alleged that between September and October of last year, Haynes engaged in a series of internet chats with whom he believed was a fifteen-year-old female. Haynes eventually admitted writing the girl on multiple occasions and making plans during the course of these chats to pick her up in Alabama and take her out on his boat for sexual activity. Haynes traveled to Alabama to pick up the victim on October 1, 2010, bringing with him a sex toy and lubricant. Upon arrival at the meeting point, Haynes learned the minor was actually an undercover agent from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Haynes was sentenced to ten years in federal prison to be followed by five years’ supervised release. He will also have to register as a sex offender. Part of the sentence requires Haynes to forfeit the items he used to facilitate the crime. These include the Mercedes-Benz he drove to pick up the victim, the 31.8-foot Regal boat he was going to use with the victim, as well as computer equipment, cameras, and cellular telephones. During the sentencing, United States District Judge M. Casey Rodgers questioned why a well-educated businessman would engage in such criminal activity. Before imposing sentence, Judge Rodgers informed Haynes of the “severity of the consequences” when one victimizes children.

U.S. Attorney Marsh praised the work of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Federal Bureau of Investigation out of Mobile, Alabama, the Fairhope Police Department, and the North Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, whose joint investigation led to the conviction and sentence in this case. “This sentencing demonstrates the serious consequences that await those who would sexually prey upon and exploit children,” said Susan McCormick, special agent in charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Tampa. “Through our partnerships with state, local and other federal law enforcement agencies, ICE will continue to police cyber space to investigate child predators and ensure that they feel the full weight of the law.”

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched by the Department of Justice in May 2006, to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by 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 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 was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David L. Goldberg of the Northern District of Florida.

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