Plano, Texas, Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Obscenity Charge
Defendant Attempted to Transfer Obscene Material Over the Internet to a Minor
FORT WORTH, Texas — Douglas E. Fallis, 48, of Plano, Texas, pleaded guilty on Friday before U.S. District Judge John McBryde to one count of attempted transfer of obscene materials to a minor, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas. He faces a maximum statutory sentence of 10 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine and a three-year term of supervised release. Sentencing is set for November 30, 2012. Fallis has been in custody since his arrest in May 2012.
According to documents filed in the case, an undercover officer with the Crimes Against Children (CAC) Unit of the Fort Worth Police Department, posing as a 13-year-old female in a Yahoo! chat room, was contacted by an individual who invited the undercover officer to view his webcam. When the officer clicked on the “view webcam” link, he observed a male, later identified as Fallis, engaging in sexually explicit conduct. During the simultaneous chat between the two, the officer advised Fallis that “she” was 13, but it was unclear if Fallis could read what the officer wrote. However, later the same day, the officer and Fallis again chatted and once again, the officer advised that “she” was 13.
During the following weeks, similar events happened on two more occasions, with the undercover officer still posing as the same 13-year-old female. On the last occasion, when Fallis engaged in live sexually explicit conduct, he concluded saying, “sorry this is wrong, later,” and ended the chat.
This matter 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 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/index.html
The investigation was conducted by the Fort Worth Police Department’s CAC Unit and U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Assistant U.S. Attorney Aisha Saleem is in charge of the prosecution.
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