OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
MATT J. WHITWORTH
Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106
OCTOBER 21, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PROJECT SAFE CHILDHOOD
TULSA MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO ATTEMPTING TO
ENTICE A MINOR FOR SEX, CROSSING
STATE LINES FOR ILLICIT SEX
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Matt J. Whitworth, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Tulsa, Okla., man pleaded guilty in federal court today to attempting to entice a person he believed was a 13-year-old girl to engage in illicit sex and to traveling across state lines to engage in illicit sex.
Robert Dean Graef, 29, of Tulsa, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Richard E. Dorr this morning to the charges contained in a May 14, 2009, federal indictment.
Graef engaged in online chats with a person he believed was a 13-year-old girl, but who in fact was an undercover officer with the Jasper County Sheriff’s Department. Graef made arrangements to meet at a Carthage, Mo., cemetery on the evening of April 17, 2009. When he entered the cemetery and drove to the crypt where they had arranged to meet, he was taken into custody. At the time of his arrest, Graef had a pistol holder and .40-caliber magazine in his pocket. A loaded .40-caliber Glock pistol with a laser sight and a magazine was located in the center console of the car. Officers also found duct tape, black plastic zip ties fashioned into handcuffs, a pair of handcuffs, two Glock magazines with 13 rounds of .40-caliber ammunition, and 50 rounds of .45-caliber ammunition in Graef’s vehicle.
Graef admitted that he used the Internet to attempt to entice a minor to engage in illicit sexual activity from April 13 to April 17, 2009. Graef also admitted that he traveled across state lines to Jasper County, Mo., on April 17, 2009, for the purpose of attempting to engage in illicit sexual conduct.
By pleading guilty today, Graef also agreed to forfeit to the government the Glock .40-caliber handgun, magazines and .40-caliber ammunition, and a 2000 Chrysler Sebring convertible, all of which were used to commit the offense.
Under federal statutes, Graef is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of life in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $500,000. 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 Randall D. Eggert. It was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Jasper County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, the Oklahoma Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, the Tulsa, Okla., Police Department and the Stillwater, Okla., Police Department.
Project Safe Childhood
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.
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