Convicted Sex Offender Pleads Guilty to New Offense
BOISE — Jeremy E. Durkin, 35, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, pleaded guilty in federal court on September 19, 2013, to use of a facility of interstate commerce to transmit information about a minor, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced
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 correctional 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.”
The FBI identified the victim as a high school student in Oregon. When interviewed, the youth told investigators that Durkin initiated contact in December 2009 via Facebook. The victim further stated that Durkin (who was not known by the victim prior to that time) persuaded the victim to call him at a telephone number in Idaho. The two spoke telephonically and “hit it off,” according to the victim. Durkin initially gave a false name, but not long after they met online, told the youth his true name. According to the victim, Durkin knew the teenager was 15 years old at the time.
According to the victim, from December 2009 until the summer 2010, Durkin was in constant contact 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 the allegations. The two never met in person; their relationship was entirely via telephone, e-mail and U.S. Mail.
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 and out of custody at the time the incidents occurred that resulted in the new federal charges. Durkin’s parole was revoked in 2010 and he was returned to prison. He is currently serving a state prison sentence on the Kootenai County case and is scheduled for release in 2016.
The federal charge of using a facility of interstate commerce to transmit information about a minor, when committed by a person convicted of a prior sex offense, is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, and up to lifetime supervised release.
Sentencing is set is for December 2, 2013, before U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge at the federal courthouse in Boise.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Idaho Department of Correction. Both agencies are southern Idaho 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.”
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.