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Press Release

41-Year-Old Child Molester Committed to Federal Custody as a Sexually Dangerous Person

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

GREENVILLE, N.C. – United States Attorney Robert J. Higdon, Jr., announced that Senior United States District Judge Malcolm J. Howard committed Jeremy E. Durkin, 41, to the custody of the Attorney General as a sexually dangerous person under the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006.

DURKIN has an extensive history of sexually molesting minors and failing to comply with the terms of incarceration and supervision.  During his teenage years, DURKIN sexually molested multiple children, including a toddler as young as two years old.  For years, DURKIN avoided detection of these assaults. 

During his early twenties, DURKIN sexually molested a young boy on multiple occasions when the boy was between the ages of six and nine. DURKIN instructed the boy not to tell anyone about the assaults.  These assaults were reported to law enforcement, and when DURKIN learned of this, he fled from the state of his residence and lived on the run for approximately four months.  He was ultimately apprehended, prosecuted by the State of Idaho, convicted, and sentenced to serve three (3) to ten (10) years in the Idaho Department of Corrections.

In June 2009, DURKIN was released on parole.  Within approximately six months of his release—and while on probation— DURKIN was at it again.  He used his work computer to contact a fifteen-year-old boy in another state via Facebook, and the two began communicating via email, U.S. mail, and telephone.  These conversations swiftly became sexual in nature, and by early January 2010—less than seven months after being released from prison—DURKIN was sending nude and sexually provocative photos to the boy and receiving similar images in return.   During this period of parole, DURKIN also viewed child pornography on his work computer at a hotel front desk and began using methamphetamine, a drug he had used regularly before his prison sentence.  After just fifteen months in the community, DURKIN was sent back to a prison for an unrelated parole violation, but his sexual communications with the teenaged boy had not yet been detected.  Even while back in Idaho prison, DURKIN continued to send sexually charged letters to the fifteen-year-old boy.  When these communications were discovered, DURKIN was federally prosecuted and convicted of using interstate facilities to transmit information about a minor.  He was sentenced to 81 months and 8 days in federal prison.

While in federal custody, DURKIN continued to engage in problematic behavior demonstrating his inability to control his sexual behavior. DURKIN was discovered to possess material containing images of children, summaries of books and movies about children, and references to sexually explicit material and websites.  Just two weeks after this discovery, DURKIN was again discovered with magazines depicting images of children with exposed torsos, newspapers containing images of children, and hand-written notes containing sexually suggestive comments.  Prison staff received multiple allegations that he was having inappropriate sexual contact with other inmates while in a sex-offender treatment program.  Ultimately, he was expelled from treatment for his failure to comply with program requirements.  During a recent psychological evaluation performed by a court-appointed psychologist, DURKIN admitted to having continuing sexual fantasies involving children while in federal prison.

DURKIN was scheduled for release from federal prison on December 4, 2019, but the United States certified him as a sexually dangerous person under the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006.  Congress passed this Act in order to provide another powerful legal mechanism for protecting the public from some of the most dangerous sexual offenders.  The Act allows the United States to seek civil commitment of sexually dangerous persons who, because of a serious mental illness, abnormality, or disorder, would have serious difficulty refraining from sexually violent conduct or child molestation. 

The United States believed that DURKIN met every element of that definition.  On July 18, 2019, and based on clear and convincing evidence presented during a bench trial, Judge Howard agreed. He committed DURKIN to the custody of the Attorney General as a sexually dangerous person. 

In a written order, Judge Howard explained how the government had proven that DURKIN was sexually dangerous.  At trial, three separate expert witnesses concluded that DURKIN is sexually attracted to young children due to a serious mental disorder known as pedophilic disorder.  DURKIN  himself admitted that he was sexually attracted to children.  Furthermore, Judge Howard found that DURKIN'S history of sexually offending against children, his difficulties in sex offender treatment, his sexual exploitation of a teenaged boy while on parole supervision, while being investigated for molesting his own son, and while back in state custody, as well as his possession of prohibited child-focused material while in a sex offender treatment program in prison together demonstrated that DURKIN would have serious difficulty refraining from sexually violent conduct or child molestation if released.  The Court also explained that DURKIN inappropriately rationalizes and minimizes his sexual abuse of children, including claiming, as DURKIN did at trial, that he molested his victims because the victims, some as young as nine years old, wanted to engage in sexual behavior with him. 

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina litigates all Adam Walsh Act cases for the entire country.  All sexually dangerous persons who are committed to federal custody are housed in a federal facility in that district, where intensive, residential treatment is offered to them.  DURKIN is the eighty-fourth sexually dangerous person committed under the Adam Walsh Act.     

Special Assistant United States Attorney Michael E. Lockridge and Assistant United States Attorney John E. Harris represented the government in this case. 

Updated July 25, 2019

Violent Crime