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Justice News

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

Friday, November 22, 2019

Pennsylvania Man Sentenced to 26 Years in Federal Prison for Coercion and Enticement of a Minor to Engage in Illegal Sexual Activity

Met a 9th-Grade School Girl on Social Media, Sexually Exploited Her, Traveled to Maryland to Engage in Sexual Activity with the Girl, and Produced Images Documenting the Abuse

Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge George L. Russell, III today sentenced Howard Keith Goodson, age 50, of Hatfield, Pennsylvania, to 26 years in federal prison, followed by lifetime supervised release, for coercion and enticement of a minor to engage in illegal sexual activity.  Judge Russell also ordered that, upon his release from prison, Goodson 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). 

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge John Eisert of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Baltimore; Caroline County Sheriff Randy Bounds; Greensboro Police Chief Eric Lee; and Caroline County State’s Attorney Joe Riley.

According to his guilty plea, in late 2016 or early 2017 Goodson met the victim, who was a 15-year-old girl in ninth grade, on a social media website where the victim hosted a blog.  Goodson and the victim began communicating through the social media website, but eventually corresponded through phone calls, text messages, and a smartphone-based messaging application.  Goodson knew the victim was a minor.  The nature of Goodson’s communication with Jane Doe was consistent with a Bondage, Discipline, Sadism, Masochism (BDSM) relationship in which the dominant partner employs psychological control over the submissive partner.

Between October 2017 and January 2018, Goodson sent a series of sexually explicit messages to the victim, including messages stating his dominance over the victim.  Between January and April 2018, Goodson drove from Pennsylvania to Maryland to meet the victim on at least four occasions—at least three of which were to engage in illicit sexual conduct with the victim.  Goodson continued to send sexually explicit messages to the victim, including messages discussing punishing the victim and stating that the victim was Goodson’s “property.”  During a February 2018 visit to the victim’s residence in Maryland, Goodson produced four images documenting his sexual abuse of the victim.

The victim’s mother saw Goodson leaving the house on April 16, 2018, contacted 911 and followed Goodson while contacting the victim’s father, who blocked the road ahead of where Goodson was driving, forcing Goodson to pull over.  Goodson was arrested on federal charges on May 4, 2018, and has been in custody since that time.

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  For more information about Internet safety education, please visit and click on the "Resources" tab on the left of the page.       

United States Attorney Robert K. Hur commended the HSI, the Caroline County Sheriff’s Office, Greensboro Police Department, and the Caroline County State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in the investigation and prosecution.  Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jeffrey J. Izant and Judson T. Mihok, who prosecuted the federal case.

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Project Safe Childhood
Marcia Murphy (410) 209-4854
Updated November 22, 2019