Houston Man Pleads Guilty to Producing Child Pornography
|Feb. 14, 2014|
HOUSTON – Daniel M. Layne, 33, of Houston, has been convicted of production of child pornography, announced United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson.
The investigation began in Maine when the mother of a 14-year-old girl discovered a motel key card in her daughter’s pants pocket and sexually graphic text messages on her cell phone. She contacted local authorities who then determined that Layne had traveled to Maine after meeting the girl over the Internet. The investigation revealed Layne had taken sexually explicit photos of the young girl.
As a result of the information gathered in Maine, authorities in the Houston area conducted a search at Layne’s residence on Sept. 24, 2013, at which time they seized computers, a tablet and cell phones from the house. A forensic analysis revealed images of the 14-year-old on the tablet and a cell phone.
U.S. District Judge David Hittner, who accepted the guilty plea today, has set sentencing for May 13, 2014, at which time Layne faces at least 15 and up to 30 years imprisonment and a $250,000 maximum fine. Upon completion of any prison term imposed, Layne also faces a maximum of life on supervised release during which the court can impose a number of special conditions designed to protect children and prohibit the use of the Internet. Layne was arrested on the federal charges in October 2013 and has been in custody since that time where he will remain pending his sentencing.
Homeland Security Investigations and the Harris County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case in conjunction with the Houston Metro Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the Westbrook, Maine, Police Department.
This case, prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert Stabe, 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."