Knoxville Resident Sentenced to 10 Years in Federal Prison for Enticement of a Minor for Illegal Sexual Activity
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – On April 9, 2019, James Michael Hood, 55, of Knoxville, Tennessee, was sentenced by the Honorable Thomas A. Varlan, U.S. District Court Judge, to serve 10 years and one month in federal prison. Upon his release from prison, Hood will be supervised by the U.S. Probation office for life.
After a jury trial in September 2018, Hood was convicted of enticement of a minor for illegal sexual activity. 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.
Agencies involved in this investigation included Knoxville Police Department Internet Crimes against Children Task Force, in partnership with the Department of Homeland Security. Jennifer Kolman, Assistant U.S. Attorney represented the United States.
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.