COLUMBIA MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO ENTICEMENT OF A MINOR
A Columbia, Ill.- man pled guilty on April 29, 2011, to an Indictment charging him with Enticement of a Minor, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today. Roy R. Browne, 29, faces a term of imprisonment of not less than ten (10) years, up to imprisonment life, a $250,000 fine, and a term of supervised release of five (5) years to life.
Sentencing is scheduled for July 29, 2011, in Federal District Court in East St. Louis. Browne has been detained since his arraignment on March 3, 2011.
“This case should serve as a chilling reminder to parents to educate and warn their children on the dangers of internet usage. Sadly, certain individuals will always seek to victimize children,” United States Attorney Wigginton remarked.
The violation took place on February 4, 2011, when the 16 year old victim and his/her1 mother went to the Columbia, Illinois, Police Department to report that minor victim was receiving text messages from adult who was trying to get the victim to meet him. The person attempting to entice the victim was subsequently identified as Roy Browne. The victim began receiving text messages on February 3, 2011, after accepting Brown as a friend on his/her Facebook page. The victim’s cell phone number was on his/her Facebook page. The texts requested a meeting with the victim. The victim explained that he/she was only 16, to which Browne responded, “That’s all right. I’m 28 is that fine with you?” The victim told Browne on at least two separate occasions to stop contacting him/her, but Browne persisted, sending text messages such as the following: “I want to meet you! I want us to be friends! Please!”
The victim and his/her mother consented to a police officer using the victim’s cellular phone and his/her identity to communicate with Browne. During the text messages between the undercover officer and Browne, a meeting was subsequently set up for that night. The two were supposed to meet in the parking lot of the Columbia Public Library. Browne told the victim that he would engage in oral sex with the victim when they met. When the undercover officer, acting as the victim, repeated that he/she was only 16, Browne replied, “We can see what happens? Want to come over now?”
After the meeting was set, Browne texted the person who he believed to be the victim, and asked if the victim had any friends that would like to join them. The officer, again using the victim’s identity, stated that he/she had a 15 year old friend. Browne told the victim that if the 15 year old wanted to join them, he/she could. Browne texted, “I would have fun teaching you how to have 3 way fun.” Browne described what he would be wearing to the meeting. He also texted that he planned to have oral sex with both the victim and his/her friend when they met.
When Browne saw who he believed to be the victim and his/her friend in the parking lot, he texted, “I want [the 2 minors] fully naked when I get in the [car]. These are orders from your master.” The undercover officers arrested Browne when he approached them in the parking lot. In a voluntary statement given after his arrest, Browne admitted meeting the victim on Facebook, and that he had made plans to meet the victim and his/her 15 year old friend for oral sex.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better 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 investigated by the Columbia, Illinois, Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Metro East Cyber Crimes and Analysis Task Force. The case is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Angela Scott.
1 This language is used in an attempt to prevent the identification and further victimization of the juvenile involved.