North Carolina Man Pleads Guilty to Traveling to Engage in Sexual Conduct with a Minor
Baltimore, Maryland – Travis Wilmoth, age 31, of Fayetteville, North Carolina pleaded guilty today to travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor. Wilmoth admitted that he traveled from North Carolina to Maryland to engage in sexually explicit conduct with a 15-year-old girl.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur and Special Agent in Charge Gordon B. Johnson of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office.
According to his plea agreement, on March 2, 2018, the FBI received a telephone call from the mother of a 15-year-old minor female who had recently discovered that Wilmoth had been using social media to chat online with her daughter since November 2017, and those conversations had become sexual in February 2018. With the permission of the girl and her mother, FBI agents took control of the girl’s account and communicated with Wilmoth posing as the minor female. During the ensuing chats, Wilmoth repeatedly asked the girl to take “naughty” pictures and send them to him. On March 14, 2108, Wilmoth discussed traveling to Maryland to visit the girl and engaging in sexual acts with her. Between March 7 and April 11, 2018, Wilmoth sent the girl sexually explicit images and videos of himself. On May 11, 2018, Wilmoth drove from North Carolina to Maryland to meet with the girl with the intent to engage in sexual activity. The FBI agent posing as the girl had provided Wilmoth with an address in an apartment complex in Baltimore County, Maryland. Wilmoth arrived at that location with condoms he had previously purchased and was arrested as he approached the front door.
As part of his plea agreement, Wilmoth must register as a sex offender in the places where he resides, where he is an employee, and where he is a student, under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).
Wilmoth and the government have agreed that if the Court accepts the plea agreement, Wilmoth will be sentenced to nine years in prison followed by 25 years of supervised release. U.S. District Judge George L. Russell, III has scheduled sentencing for December 7, 2018 at 12:00 p.m.
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 Attorney’s 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.justice.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.justice.gov/psc and click on the "Resources" tab on the left of the page.
United States Attorney Robert K. Hur commended the FBI for its work in the investigation. Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Sandra Wilkinson, who is prosecuting the federal case.