Ohio Man Who Enticed a Colorado Minor Victim in an Attempt to Produce Child Pornography Convicted Following Two-Week Jury Trial
Defendant, Rande Brian Isabella, faces up to life in federal prison
DENVER – Rande Brian Isabella, age 59, of Hubbard, Ohio, was found guilty by a jury on October 7, 2016 before U.S. District Court Judge Christine M. Arguello of one count of coercion and enticement of a minor and one count of attempted production of child pornography, Acting U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agent in Charge David Thompson announced. The jury, which deliberated for approximately three hours, acquitted the defendant on two similar counts.
According to the facts presented at trial, between September and December 2013, Isabella communicated via phone and online with a 14 year-old girl in Colorado. Through these communications, he misrepresented his age to her and repeatedly asked for pictures of her as their conversations became increasingly sexual in nature. Ultimately, he was able to persuade her to send him a naked photograph of herself. Isabella told the minor girl that he was her boyfriend and asked her to stay with him if he traveled to Colorado. He sent her a photograph of his own genitalia, encouraging her to respond in kind. She did send him more pictures of herself, some sexual in nature, before she lost her phone. The minor girl’s mother found her phone and discovered these conversations with Isabella. She sought the help of law enforcement, and HSI began investigating the defendant’s online activities.
During the course of the investigation, federal agents determined Isabella’s identity and address. A search warrant was then obtained and executed at his home in Ohio. Agents seized his phone and two of his computers. On his phone, they found the communications with the minor girl and photographs of her that he had saved. On his computer, a forensic analyst found that Isabella had Googled the minor girl shortly after they began communicating and that he had visited her Facebook profile, looking at her friends and photos. He also visited three different websites which showed that the minor girl had competed in 2012 in middle school track races. After viewing those websites, Isabella continued to communicate with the minor girl and saved to his phone the nude image she sent him.
“Producing child pornography victimizes children, it’s as simple as that,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer. “This defendant deservedly faces a minimum of 15 years, and up to life, thanks to the hard work of this elite investigation and prosecution team.”
“Sexual predators of children have a history of being able to charm their way into the trust of the children they prey upon,” said David A. Thompson, special agent in charge of HSI Denver. “However, in the age of the internet, these predators now present a danger to many more children. Parents need to be fully aware of how their children are using their electronic and social media; and all children should be continually reminded that strangers met via the internet may not be who they say they are. HSI has an active Operation Predator program to rescue child victims and criminally investigate their victimizers.”
Isabella faces not less than 10 years, and up to life in federal prison, as well as not more than a $250,000 fine for coercion and enticement of a minor. He also faces not less than 15 years, and up to 30 years in federal prison for attempted production of child pornography.
This case was investigated by HSI. The defendant was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alecia Riewerts and Celeste Rangel.