Serial Sex Offender from Utah Sentenced to Eight Years in Prison
BOISE – Bo B. Burdick, 21, of Tremonton, Utah, was sentenced today in United States District Court in Boise to 96 months in prison followed by ten years of supervised release for travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual contact, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge also imposed a no contact order and ordered Burdick to pay $21,683.83 in restitution to the victim. Burdick pleaded guilty to the charge on August 20, 2012.
According to the plea agreement, in January 2011, Burdick solicited a “Facebook” friend request from a 13-year-old girl living in Idaho. The girl accepted and learned that Burdick was a volunteer firefighter and EMT living in Utah. Burdick and the girl began to chat via text messaging, using cellular telephones and an iPod. Early in their online relationship, Burdick sent the girl a nude picture of himself, and the girl complied with Burdick's request to send him sexually provocative pictures of herself, including pictures of her in underwear and fully nude. The girl e-mailed the pictures from her e-mail account to the e-mail address provided by Burdick.
Idaho State Police Cyber Crimes Unit recovered text messages and e-mail sent in January 2011 from the girl to Burdick, and from Burdick to the girl. The messages clearly show that the girl told Burdick she was 13 years old. They also show Burdick giving the girl instructions about the kinds of pictures he wanted her to send.
According to the plea agreement, Burdick was interviewed by agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations in Utah in March 2012. At the interview, Burdick admitted that he traveled from Utah to Idaho to visit the girl on four separate occasions in 2011; that he rented hotel rooms and that he and the girl engaged in sexual intercourse. Burdick also told investigators that he had saved nude pictures of the girl on his laptop computer. Initial forensic analysis of the computer by Idaho State Police identified files in folders containing digital images of the girl in various stages of undress, images of other young females, and pictures of recognizable locations in three Idaho towns. An SD card contained many of the same images recovered from the laptop. Examination of Burdick's cellular phone also found thumbnail images of the girl, which were transferred to the laptop.
According to court documents, during the investigation, investigators discovered that the 13-year-old in this case is not Burdick's only victim. Burdick admitted that between the ages of 17 and 20, he had sexual encounters with 11 females in Utah whom he had met online. Burdick told investigators four of the females were under the age of 16, including the Idaho victim. Burdick admitted that when he was age 19, he had a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old female in Utah and fathered a child with her.
“Mr. Burdick’s eight year sentence sends the strong message that those who sexually exploit children will receive significant punishment,” said Olson. “The criminal conduct in this case is tragic for the victim and her family. The dangers of sexual predators who lurk on the internet is real and persistent. Idaho law enforcement at all levels will work together to aggressively pursue these offenders.”
“This case illustrates the importance of parental involvement in a child's digital life,” said Brad Bench, special agent in charge of HSI Seattle, who oversees HSI investigations in Idaho. “If not for the intervention of the girl's parents who discovered and reported the illicit activity, Burdick could be free to victimize others. While parents are the first line of defense in protecting children, they are not alone. Every day HSI and its law enforcement partners work tirelessly to investigate, arrest and prosecute child predators.”
The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and Idaho State Police.
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, visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.” For more information about registered sex offenders in Idaho, visit www.isp.idaho.gov/sor_id/.
Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is a collaborative effort by federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and communities to prevent and deter gun violence.