July 31, 2009
CORPUS CHRISTI AREA MAN ARRESTED AND CHARGED WITH TRANSPORTING A MINOR ACROSS STATE LINES TO ENGAGE IN SEX
(CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas) – Shaun P. Sullivan, 28, of Corpus Christi, Texas was arrested today and charged by criminal complaint with transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity and traveling across state lines with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct, United States Attorney Tim Johnson announced today. Both charges stem from events occurring in and around July 21, 2009.
Sullivan was arrested by FBI agents this afternoon following the execution of a search warrant at his residence earlier today. He appeared before United States Magistrate Judge B. Janice Ellington at 4:00 p.m. today and was ordered temporarily detained in federal custody pending a hearing on the government’s motion to detain him without bond pending further criminal proceedings. A detention hearing has been set for Aug. 5, 2009, at 8:00 a.m.
According to the allegations in the criminal complaint, in July 2009, the FBI Corpus Christi office received information from the FBI office in Memphis, Tenn., that Sullivan had traveled from Corpus Christi to Martin, Tenn. to pick up a minor female. Sullivan had allegedly been communicating with the minor via the internet through MySpace, a social networking website. The complaint alleges Sullivan arranged to meet the victim in Tennessee at a pre-arranged location on July 21, 2009. On that date, Sullivan allegedly met the minor as planned and took her to a hotel where they engaged in illicit sexual activity. When Sullivan returned to Corpus Christi, he allegedly brought the minor with him.
The minor was reported missing by her parents in Tennessee on July 21, 2009. Near midnight on July 22, 2009, the minor was reportedly taken to the Corpus Christi Police Department (CCPD) by Sullivan’s wife. The minor has since been returned to Tennessee.
The charge of transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity carries a statutory punishment range of no less than 10 years imprisonment up to life. A charge of traveling across state lines with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct carries a maximum statutory punishment of 30 years imprisonment.
The continuing investigation leading to the return of the minor and the charges against Sullivan has been conducted by the FBI and CCPD and will be prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lance Duke.
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, 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.
Criminal complaints are accusations of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law.
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