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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Idaho

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, September 5, 2014

Idaho Department Of Corrections Prisoner Sentenced On Federal Child Pornography Charge

Engaged in Sexual Chats with Teenage Girls via Social Media Websites

BOISE - Jacob Eldon Hobart, 27, of Boise, Idaho, was sentenced today to 120 months in federal prison for possession of sexually explicit images of minors, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill also ordered Hobart to serve 15 years of supervised release and undergo sex offender treatment after his release from prison. Hobart pleaded guilty to the charge on April 30, 2014.

According to the plea agreement, the case originated in December 2012, when the Idaho Internet Crimes against Children Task Force received a report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. A social networking site had observed a person with the screen/user name of Jacob Hobart (Jacob H) presenting himself on their site as 15 years of age; however, company personnel had observed another chat conversation in which Hobart stated he was actually 25 years of age. The social networking site further reported that Hobart had communicated with a female who identified herself as being 15 years of age.

Boise Police Detectives investigated and found hundreds of emails in Hobart’s Yahoo email from the social media site, including emails in which Hobart had requested to be friends with dozens of teenage females, ranging in age from 13 to19 years of age based on the ages stated in their profile. One of those girls was a 14-year-old girl from Washington State with whom Hobart exchanged sexually explicit photos. Another victim, the one who had held herself out on the social networking site as being 15, was actually a local 12-year-old middle school student, to whom Hobart had sent obscene photographs.

Hobart is currently incarcerated in the Idaho Department of Corrections, serving a term of two years fixed and eight years indeterminate for an unrelated charge of sexual battery involving lewd or lascivious acts on a minor child 16 to 17 years of age.

The case was investigated by the Boise Police Department, which is a member of the Idaho Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, a statewide coalition of local, state and federal law enforcement and prosecution agencies, focused on apprehending and prosecuting individuals who use the Internet to criminally exploit children. For more information about the Idaho ICAC Task Force and a list of all the participating agencies, visit www.icacidaho.org.

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 individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”

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Updated December 15, 2014