Feb. 23, 2009
HOUSTON MAN PLEAD GUILTY TO SEXUALLY EXPLOITING A CHILD ONLINE
(HOUSTON, Texas) – Perry Adkins, of Houston, has pleaded guilty in a Houston federal court to online sexual exploitation of a child and possession of child pornography, acting United States Attorney Tim Johnson and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott announced today. At a hearing this morning before U.S. District Judge Kenneth M. Hoyt, Adkins, 69, admitted he had coerced underage girls to remove their clothes and/or perform sexual acts on themselves via webcam while he watched and sometimes recorded online and possessed thousands of images of child pornography.
Edmonton Canada Police Service – Alberta Provincial Integrated Child Exploitation Unit in Alberta, Canada, contacted the Texas Attorney General’s Office (OAG) in October 2006 after receiving a complaint from a social networking site that an adult user had threatened to travel to Canada and shoot a teenage girl’s friends unless she disrobed on webcam for him. Adkins e-mailed a link to the coerced pictures of the teen to other users of the site.
Acting on the information provided by Canadian authorities, investigators of the OAG Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force took additional investigatory steps to secure the information which ultimately led to the identification of Adkins as the online predator and his residence on Twopenny Lane in Houston. In January 2007, a state search warrant was executed by OAG investigators, Houston Police Department (HPD) officers and Harris County Sheriff’s (HCSO) deputies at Adkins’ residence. Investigators seized five computers and external media including seven hard drives and numerous CDs and DVDs. A forensic examination of the computers and external media by OAG forensic examiners resulted in the discovery of the photographs of the Canadian teen and more than 10,000 images and movies of child pornography depicting adults sexually assaulting prepubescent females and toddlers.
A federal grand jury in Houston indicted Adkins on Dec. 17, 2007. He was arrested the following day and has been in federal custody without bond since his arrest.
The statutory punishment range for the sexual exploitation of a child conviction is not less than 15 years and not more than 30 years of incarceration, and no less than five years up to a life term of supervised release and registration as a sex offender. The possession of child pornography conviction carries up to 10 years imprisonment, and up to a lifetime of supervised release which can include conditions imposed to ensure the safety of the public. Each count also carries as punishment a fine of up to $250,000. Adkins will remain in federal custody without bond pending his sentencing hearing set for May 26, 2009.
The case was investigated by the Texas Attorney General’s Office Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, the Houston Police Department and the Edmonton Canada Police Service - Alberta Provincial Integrated Child Exploitation Unit and is being prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Angela S. Goodwin.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. 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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