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June 9, 2011

ATTORNEY AND FORMER VICTORIA COUNTY DEMOCRATIC PARTY CHAIR SENTENCED TO PRISON FOR RECEIVING AND POSSESSING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

(CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas) – Stephen Jabbour, 57, of Victoria, Texas, has been sentenced to prison for receiving and possessing child pornography, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today. Jabbour is a licensed attorney in the state of Texas with a practice in Victoria who was also serving as the Democratic Party Chair at the time of his arrest in August 2010 but has since resigned. 

Senior United States District Judge Hayden Head sentenced Jabbour to a total of 170 months in federal prison without parole to be followed by a lifetime of supervised release at a hearing this afternoon. During the course of his term of supervised release, the court has further ordered Jabbour to comply with additional conditions designed to protect children and the community. Failure to abide by the conditions subjects Jabbour to a possible additional prison term. Jabbour has also been ordered to register as a sex offender.

Jabbour pleaded guilty in January 2011, admitting that between August and November 2008 he received child pornography via the Internet and possessed child pornography in January  2010. Today’s sentence includes a 170-month prison term for the receipt of child pornography conviction and 120 months imprisonment for the possession of child pornography conviction. The court has ordered the sentences to be served concurrently.

According to the proffered evidence presented in the case at the time of re-arraignment, Jabbour’s collection of child pornography consisted of images and videos of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Immediately following his conviction in January, the court ordered Jabbour into federal custody without bond pending today’s sentencing.

During today’s hearing, the court learned through the testimony of government witnesses that Jabbour’s collection of child pornography is believed to have been the largest collection of child pornography seized in the Southern District of Texas and one of the largest seized in the United States. 

Jabbour possessed in excess of 250,000 images and videos of child pornography and another 400,000 to 500,000 images and videos of child erotica. Additionally, testimony also described Jabbour’s online “chatting” with other persons believed to be pedophiles and the exchanging of images and videos with them via the Internet. According to testimony, in his online chats, Jabbour repeatedly declared his sexual interest in children between the ages of 0-9 years old, stated he admired child kidnappers and became sexually aroused when he heard of Amber alerts. 

In deciding upon the sentence ultimately handed down, the court considered the need to protect the public from Jabbour and deter others from engaging in similar criminal activity.

Jabbour will remain in federal custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be designated in the near future.

The investigation leading to the charges against Jabbour was conducted by special agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement - Homeland Security Investigations and the Corpus Christi Police Department.

This case, prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lance Duke, 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.

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