California Man Indicted in Federal Court in Las Vegas for Traveling To Nevada with Intent to Engage in a Sexual Act with a Juvenile
Las Vegas, Nev. - Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada, and Ellen B. Knowlton, Special Agent-in-Charge of the FBI for Nevada, announced that on October 2, 2002, a federal grand jury in Las Vegas returned a two-count Indictment against MARC STEPHEN HOOD charging him with Interstate Travel with the Intent to Engage in a Sexual Act with a Juvenile and Enticement of a Juvenile to Engage in a Sexual Act. HOOD was arrested in Las Vegas on Thursday, September 26, 2002, by FBI agents after he followed through with plans to meet who he thought was a 14-year-old girl. HOOD, age 42, and a resident of Chino, California, made plans in "chat group" conversations on the Internet to meet the girl for sex. HOOD had his initial appearance before a United States Magistrate Judge in Las Vegas on September 27, 2002, and was ordered detained.
According to the allegations in the court record, on July 10, 2002, an FBI Special Agent, posing on the Internet as a 14-year-old female, entered a chat room and received an instant message from an individual using a screen name who was later identified as MARC STEPHEN HOOD. In a chat session lasting approximately one and a half hours, the undercover agent was solicited by MARC STEPHEN HOOD for sex. Over the next couple of months, numerous sexually explicit internet chat sessions occurred. HOOD eventually told the undercover agent that he would like to meet her in Las Vegas, and that she should not tell any friends about their arrangements. HOOD also provided his first name and telephone number to the undercover agent.
On September 25, 2002, HOOD told the undercover agent that he would be traveling to Las Vegas on Thursday, September 26th, and would meet her at a local hotel/casino property at 2:00 p.m. On September 26, 2002, HOOD was arrested in Las Vegas after he followed through with his plans to meet the undercover agent.
If convicted, HOOD is facing up to 15 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine on each count. The actual sentence, however, will be dictated by the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of factors, and will be imposed at the discretion of the Court.
The case was investigated by Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Nancy J. Davis.
The public is reminded that the Indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.