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Press Release

Clovis Man Charged with Attempted Online Enticement of Minor to Engage in Illegal Sex Acts and Receipt of Child Pornography

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of California

FRESNO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned a two-count indictment yesterday against Thomas Layman Binford, 55, of Clovis, California, charging him with separate counts of  attempting coercion and enticement of a minor and receipt of material involving the sexual exploitation of minors, as well as receipt of child pornography, United States Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced. 

According to court documents, Binford traveled to a park in Fresno, California on the evening of July 28, 2020, with the intent of meeting and engaging in illegal sex acts with a 13 year-old minor he had earlier met online through the Skout social media application. Upon his arrest at the park, his cell phone was seized and subsequently searched, where over 250 images of minors being sexually exploited were found.

This case was the product of an investigation by the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office, Clovis Police Department, Fresno Police Department, and the Fresno Office of Homeland Security Investigations, the investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian W. Enos is prosecuting the case.

If convicted of the attempted online enticement charge, Binford faces a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years and maximum statutory penalty of life in prison, and a $250,000 fine. If convicted of the receipt of child pornography charge, Binford faces a mandatory minimum sentence of fifteen years and maximum statutory penalty of forty years in prison, and a $250,000 fine. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This case 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 those who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit Click on the “resources” tab for information about Internet safety education.

Updated September 4, 2020

Project Safe Childhood
Press Release Number: 1:20-cr-00150-DAD/BAM