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Justice News

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

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Oregon Man Pleads Guilty To Attempted Transfer Of Obscene Material

BOISE B Scott L. Austin, 52, of Portland, Oregon, pleaded guilty today to attempted transfer of obscene material to a minor, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced.

According to the plea agreement, Austin admitted that on various occasions between the summer of 2011, and October 2013, he engaged in sexually explicit chats with an undercover police officer and a person he believed was the officer’s minor child. Austin admitted that on August 9, 2011, while chatting online with the supposed minor in a chat room titled “Incest,” he sent three sexually explicit images accompanied by contemporaneous sexually explicit chats directed at the minor. The images appeared to be minor females engaging in sexually explicit conduct, although the identity and ages of the persons depicted could not be determined. In August and September of 2013, Austin emailed the detective in his undercover capacity and said he was going to be in Boise and asked to meet with him and his daughter.

Austin showed up at the predetermined location on October 11, 2013. A detective and a young female police officer waited at the location. Austin drove by several times and sent a text message, “got spooked,” and asked, “Are you a cop?” Austin requested that the two individuals kiss as he drove by so he could see them. Then, Austin stopped and had a brief conversation with the undercover detectives. He said that he was curious and that he may not have enough time tonight, and he wanted to see about meeting tomorrow.

Austin also told the male undercover officer that, “I would feel comfortable if she would just like flash me,” suggesting that the female show her breasts. Austin then said, “Maybe we should try to get together tomorrow.” The detective asked him if he had a hotel room, or where they would go and Austin said he could get a hotel room. He further stated, “I have been kind of curious; I just don’t know if I want to cross that line. So I am just nervous about it.” Austin also said he wanted to see the female clearer to determine if she was the same person he had seen in photos (the undercover detective had previously sent G-rated images of the female detective to Austin, claiming she was his “daughter”), and asked the detectives to turn their dome light on so he could see her. He then said he wanted to go, and drove away.

The charge of attempted transfer of obscene material to a minor is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000.00, and up to three years of supervised release.

Sentencing is set for January 12, 2014, before U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge at the federal courthouse in Boise.

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.”

Updated December 15, 2014