KENT MAN SENTENCED TO 15 YEARS IN PRISON FOR SEXUAL EXPLOITATION OF A CHILD
Defendant Traveled to Cambodia to have Sex with Underage Girls
CRAIG CARR, 59, of Kent, Washington, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 15 years in prison, lifetime supervised release, a $11,000 fine and $8,000 in restitution for sexual exploitation of a child. CARR traveled to Cambodia in January 2010, to have sex with underage girls. CARR will be required to register as a sex offender when released from prison. At sentencing U.S. District Judge Richard A. Jones told CARR “you prey on the most vulnerable of victims... very young girls. What you were doing satisfying your fantasy one night, leads to a lifetime of nightmares for them.” Judge Jones imposed the fine saying it was the same amount of money CARR spent on his trip to Cambodia.
According to the facts admitted in his plea agreement, CARR made contact over the internet with a person in Cambodia who agreed to find minor females for CARR to have sex with during a visit to Cambodia. CARR paid this person approximately $8,000 for sex with these minor females during a week-long trip to Cambodia. CARR informed the person arranging the sexual encounters that he wanted the girls to be about 12-years-old. CARR sent his Cambodian contact sexually explicit photographs of minors to show the approximate age of the girls he was seeking. CARR also asked the source in Cambodia if CARR could take naked photos of the girls, and, he requested the address of a FedEx store in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, so he could send the photos to his Kent, Washington, home. CARR traveled to Phnom Penh from Seattle on January 13, 2010. He was arrested January 22, 2010. CARR admitted that he had sex with three young females over his eight days in Cambodia. His camera contained pictures of three young victims. Two of the victims have been located. CARR has agreed to pay $8,000 in restitution to the Cambodian victims.
“This prison sentence is appropriate punishment for the defendant who thought he could travel overseas, sexually abuse young children, rob them of their innocence without consequence and evade detection by U.S. law enforcement authorities,” said Leigh Winchell, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in the Pacific Northwest. “HSI aggressively investigates this type of case by using our unique enforcement authorities under the PROTECT Act, which allow us to work closely with our domestic and international law enforcement partners to ensure that child predators pay the price for their heinous behavior.”
In his sentencing request, Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Diggs urged the court to send a deterrence message. “The sentence imposed by the Court will give a clear message that United States citizens who are willing to fly across the world to engage in illicit sexual conduct, if apprehended, will face significant punishment at home. At the same time the Court’s sentence gives a message to “would-be” illegal sex tourists, it also gives a reassuring message to foreign countries struggling to combat this type of crime that United States courts are willing to hand out stiff but fair sentences to combat an evil that may not affect the United States as much as it does the foreign nation, which deals most intimately with the societal impacts of the crime,” Mr. Diggs wrote in his sentencing memo.
When it was his turn to speak to the judge, CARR said, “I’ve ruined my life for a very troubled part of who I am. I have no one to blame but myself.”
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 (CEOS), 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.
This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Success in this criminal investigation is attributed to the strong working relationship between the U.S. Embassy Cambodia, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Phnom Penh and Seattle, Washington, the Cambodian National Police, French National Police in Cambodia, and non-governmental organization (NGO) Action Pour Les Enfants Cambodia. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Diggs.
For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@USDOJ.Gov.