Knoxville Resident Convicted of Attempted Enticement of a Minor for Unlawful Sex
KNOXVILLE, Tenn.- On September 19, 2018, after a two-day trial before the Honorable Thomas A. Varlan, Chief U.S. District Judge, a jury found James Michael Hood, 54, of Knoxville, Tennessee, guilty of one count of attempted enticement of a minor for unlawful sex.
Sentencing has been set for February 13, 2019. Hood faces up to life in prison.
According to evidence revealed during the trial, in June 2017, Hood attempted to communicate with the 17-year-old female victim by friending her on Facebook. The victim blocked him after less than a day of him sending her inappropriate messages. The victim and her mother reported the inappropriate messages to law enforcement, who initiated an undercover operation posing as the young girl. Hood was provided with a phone number to use if he wanted to text the victim. Believing he was communicating with the young girl, within two minutes of receiving the number, he began texting her. Within 48 hours, he was sending her explicit sexual messages. Hood set up a meeting with the victim; however, instead of being met by the victim, he was met by law enforcement and arrested.
This investigation was conducted by the Knoxville Police Department Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, University of Tennessee Police and U.S. Homeland Security Investigations. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Kolman represented the United States at trial.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC), 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 the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, PSC 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 PSC, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.