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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Delaware

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, March 19, 2018

Delaware Man Pleads Guilty in Enticement of a Minor Case

WILMINGTON, Del. – Joshua Rutherford pled guilty to one count of attempting to entice a minor to engage in sexual activity, announced U.S. Attorney David C. Weiss of the District of Delaware.

Today, Rutherford, 37 years old of Camden-Wyoming, Delaware, and Newark, Delaware, and a former teacher at Smyrna High School, pled guilty before the Honorable Gregory M. Sleet of the U.S. District Court of Delaware.

According to statements made in court at the hearing, Rutherford responded to an online advertisement posted by an undercover detective with the Delaware State Police looking for men who were interested in incest with minor children. Using a mobile chat application, Rutherford responded to the advertisement and communicated with the undercover detective for almost a month. In those conversations, Rutherford expressed his desire to see nude pictures of a girl he believed to be 14 years old, Rutherford expressed his willingness to have sexual intercourse with the same minor while her father watched, and Rutherford demanded that the father have sexual contact with the minor first – while Rutherford watched – in order to prove that the father was not a member of law enforcement. Rutherford scheduled a time to meet the man he believed to be the father of a 14-year-old girl along with that 14-year-old girl for the purpose of having sex with that 14-year-old girl. Rutherford was arrested when he arrived at the rendezvous.

U.S. Attorney David C. Weiss stated, “Our office reaffirms its unrelenting commitment to take whatever steps are necessary to pursue and prosecute those predators who seek to victimize our most precious and vulnerable citizens – our children.”

Rutherford is being detained until sentencing where he faces a sentence of ten years. Rutherford also faces a term of supervised release following imprisonment and will be required to register as a sex offender in any jurisdiction in which he lives, works, or attends school.  Sentencing is scheduled for June 19, 2018 at 2:00 p.m.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and the Delaware Child Predator Task Force investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Graham L. Robinson is prosecuting the case.

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 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and 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.justice.gov/psc.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Updated April 6, 2018