Former Corpus Christi Police Officer Convicted of Solicitation of a Minor
|June 7, 2012|
HOUSTON – Robert McChester Jr., 27, has entered a plea of guilty to using a telephone and a computer connected to the Internet to coerce and entice a minor to engage in sexual activity, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.
Ay the plea hearing before Senior U.S. District Judge Hayden Head today, McChester admitted that between April 1, 2011, and April 2, 2012, he began communicating with a child he knew to initially be 14 years old.
On April 4, 2012, the victim reported to medical professionals the inappropriate relationship she had been engaged in with a Corpus Christi Police Department (CCPD) officer, at which time she further alleged he had met with her on several occasions and engaged inappropriate activities. The allegations were immediately investigated and the officer was soon identified as McChester, a then active duty patrol officer with the CCPD.
The investigation revealed McChester had been communicating with the victim via the Internet for approximately one year. Online communications between McChester and the victim were recovered and determined to contain content of an inappropriate sexual nature.
McChester was arrested following the filing of a criminal complaint, but was later released on bond. Following today’s hearing, McChester was allowed to remain on bond pending his sentencing hearing, set for Aug. 30, 2012, at 1:30 p.m. At that time, he faces a possible sentence of at least 10 years and up to life in prison. McChester resigned from CCPD on April 11, 2012, the day of arrest.
This case, investigated by CCPD’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and Homeland Security Investigations, 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 the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Lance Duke.