TEXAS MAN SENTENCED TO 188 MONTHS IN PRISON FOR ATTEMPTING TO PRODUCE CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
LAFAYETTE, La. – United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced today that Emery Weyland Graham, 43, of Longview, Texas, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Elizabeth E. Foote to 188 months in prison for attempting to produce child pornography. Graham is also required to complete 10 years of supervised release and register as a sex offender. Graham pleaded guilty on Feb. 19, 2013.
According to the evidence presented at the guilty plea, the Youngsville Police Department received a complaint on Sept. 13, 2011 from a mother that her daughter had been sent sexually explicit messages by a 41-year-old man using a cell phone. Police confiscated the phone, and an undercover officer posed as the 13-year old girl, through texts, to continue communication with Graham. Graham sent sexually explicit messages about sexual acts that he wanted to perform on the girl and asked the girl to send him sexually explicit images of herself. He instructed the minor on how to take the pictures and provided details of the images he wanted. Graham was arrested on Oct. 5, 2011.
“Prosecuting internet predators is a top priority for the U.S. Attorney’s Office,” Finley stated. “This sentence should send the message that there are serious consequences for attempting to exploit children. Predators who seek to rob the innocence of children will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
Homeland Security Investigations, Youngsville Police Department, and the Louisiana State Police investigated the case with assistance from the Texas Rangers. Assistant U.S. Attorney Myers P. Namie prosecuted the case.
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 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 U.S. Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security/Homeland Security Investigations/Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at (866) DHS-2ICE. Investigators are available at all hours to answer hotline calls. Tips or other information can also be submitted to ICE online at www.ice.gov/exec/forms/hsi-tips/tips.asp and to the FBI at tips.fbi.gov. Tips may be submitted anonymously. The Lafayette FBI office number is (337) 233-2164.