Collin County Man Guilty of Child Exploitation Violations
SHERMAN, Texas – A 21-year-old McKinney, Texas man has pleaded guilty to child exploitation violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown today.
Stephen Chase Clark pleaded guilty to attempted coercion and enticement of a minor and receipt of child pornography before U.S. Magistrate Judge Christine A. Nowak on Mar. 4, 2019.
According to information presented in court, in August 2018, law enforcement officers conducting an undercover investigation dubbed Operation Zeus, encountered Clark chatting on social media with an individual he believed to be a minor male. Clark engaged in sexual conversations with the individual and asked for photographs of the child. Clark was arrested on Aug. 28, 2018, after he went to a location in McKinney where he expected to meet the individual he believed to be a child to engage in sexual activities. A review of Clark’s cellular phone and social media accounts revealed a number of sexually explicit chats between Clark and other young males. Law enforcement also found a number of child pornography and chats about trading child pornography.
Clark entered into a plea agreement with the government that includes a sentence of 250 months in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set and the actual sentence will be determined by a federal judge at sentencing.
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 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (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.
This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Collin County Sheriff’s Office and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Marisa Miller.
FBI agents continue to work to identify children whose images were located on Clark’s electronic devices and encourage anyone who had contact with Clark or may have additional information to contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office at 1-800-804-3547.