Registered Sex Offender Pleads Guilty To New Sex Crimes
BOISE - William Clarence Brower, 51, of Hazelton, Idaho, pleaded guilty today in United States District Court to two counts of transfer of obscene images to minors, and to possession of child pornography, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. United States Magistrate Judge Ronald E. Bush scheduled sentencing for February 18, 2015, at the United States Courthouse in Boise. Brower is detained pending sentencing.
According to the plea agreement, the investigation began in February 2014, when the Idaho Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) received a request for assistance from the Massachusetts State Police regarding an unknown adult male using the social media website “Kik” messenger to send sexually explicit photographs to a 10-year-old female in Massachusetts. An undercover detective took over the child’s online identity and made the suspect aware that “she” was 10 years old. The suspect replied, “C00000l. I don't mind that you are so young,” followed by sexually explicit comments. After having learned he was communicating with a ten-year-old, the suspect continued to send similar pictures and sexual comments directed at the child.
Meanwhile, in an unrelated investigation, sheriff’s deputies in Maricopa County, Arizona received a complaint from a family in Mesa, Arizona that their 13-year-old daughter had been receiving unsolicited sexually explicit text messages from an unknown individual using “Kik” messenger. The messages were accompanied by similar sexually explicit images. The investigators in Massachusetts and Arizona independently developed information suggesting that an individual with last name Brower in Hazelton, Idaho was responsible.
Idaho ICAC investigators learned that the suspect, William Clarence Brower, of Hazelton is a registered sex offender. He was convicted in 2008 of felony indecent exposure in Twin Falls County. They obtained a search warrant for Brower’s residence which was served on February 21, 2014. Brower was interviewed that day, and took responsibility for using his cell phone to send hundreds of sexually explicit photos of himself to random persons, most of whom he knew were under age 18, via “Kik” messenger. Brower also admitted that he possessed images and videos of child pornography.
According to the plea agreement, a forensic examination of a cell phone found at Brower’s home identified more than 24,000 digital images considered relevant to the investigation. These included pictures depicting child pornography, child erotica, images of a male subject wearing female undergarments, numerous images of a male exposing himself, and non-pornographic images of numerous young females that appear to have been obtained through a social media application or web site.
The charge of transfer of obscene images to a minor is punishable by up to ten years imprisonment, a fine of up to $250,000.00, and up to three years supervised release per count. The charge of possession of child pornography is punishable by up to ten years imprisonment, a fine of up to $250,000.00, and at least five years up to lifetime supervised release.
The case was investigated by the Idaho Attorney General’s Office, Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, the Boise Police Department, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department, the Department of State Police of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Jerome County Sheriff’s Department.
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.”