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NEWS RELEASE

OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI


JOHN F. WOOD


Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html


JULY 5, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE



PROJECT SAFE CHILDHOOD


OLATHE MAN PLEADS GUILTY FOR ENTICING

A MINOR FOR ILLICIT SEX


            KANSAS CITY, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that an Olathe, Kansas, man pleaded guilty in federal court today for using the Internet in an attempt to entice a minor to engage in illegal sexual activity.


            Eric Ryan Davis, 22, of Olathe, Kansas, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Gary A. Fenner this morning to the attempt to entice a minor charge contained in a February 8, 2007, federal indictment.


            By pleading guilty, Davis admitted that between August 30 and September 1, 2005, he contacted an undercover law enforcement officer whom he believed to be a 14-year-old girl named April in an online chat room. Davis told “April” that he wanted to engage in a variety of sexual acts with her. On August 31, 2005, Davis was arrested by the Platte County Sheriff’s department when he arrived at an undercover apartment to meet with “April.”


            Davis also agreed to forfeit his interest in the Compaq computer he used to chat with “April.”


            Under federal statutes, Davis could be subject to a sentence of up to 30 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine of up to $250,000. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.


            This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Katharine Fincham. It was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Platte County, Missouri, Sheriff’s Department.


Project Safe Childhood


            This case is being brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. In February 2006, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales launched Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorney’s Offices, 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 identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.


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This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html