Idaho Prisoner Pleads Guilty to Federal Child Pornography Charge
Engaged in Sexual Chats with Teenage Girls via Social Media Websites
BOISE - Jacob Eldon Hobart, 26, of Boise, Idaho, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court today to Possession of Sexually Explicit Images of Minors, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced.
According to the plea agreement, the case originated in December 2012 when the Idaho Internet Crimes against Children Task Force received a report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. According to that report, a social networking site had observed a user with the screen/user name of Jacob Hobart (Jacob H) presenting himself on their site as 15 years of age; however, company personnel had observed a chat conversation in which Hobart stated he was actually 25 years of age. The social networking site further reported that Hobart had communicated with a female who identified herself as being 15 years of age.
Boise Police Detectives investigated, and found hundreds of emails in Hobart’s Yahoo email from the social media site, and including emails in which Hobart had requested to be friends with dozens of teenage females, ranging in age from 13 to 19 years of age based on the ages stated in their profile. One of those girls was a 14-year-old girl from Washington State with whom Hobart exchanged sexually explicit photos. Another victim, the one who had held herself out on the social networking site as being 15, was actually a local 12-year-old middle school student, to whom Hobart had sent obscene photographs.
The charge of Possession of Sexually Explicit Images of Minors is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000.00, and from 5 years up to lifetime-supervised release.
Sentencing is set for July 22, 2014, before U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill at the federal courthouse in Boise.
Hobart is currently incarcerated in the Idaho Department of Corrections, serving a term of two years fixed followed by eight years indeterminate, for an unrelated charge of sexual battery involving Lewd or Lascivious Acts on a Minor Child 16 to 17 years of age.
The case was investigated by the Boise Police Department, which is a member 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.