Clay County Softball Coach Pleads Guilty To Producing And Attempting To Produce Sexually Explicit Images And Videos Of Children
Jacksonville, Florida – United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces that a federal jury has found Paul Edward Lee, Jr. (43, Jacksonville) guilty of attempting to entice a 14-year-old child to produce and send him pornographic videos and images depicting her own sexual abuse. In 2011, Lee was convicted of lascivious molestation and exhibition of a 10-year-old child and was required to register as a sexual predator. Because of these prior child sex convictions, at sentencing Lee faces an enhanced minimum mandatory penalty of 25 years, up to 50 years, in federal prison and a potential life term of supervised release. Lee was arrested in Jacksonville on May 2, 2018. His sentencing hearing is set for July 10, 2023.
According to evidence and testimony introduced at trial, in April 2018, an FBI agent in Illinois discovered that a 14-year-old child was having online contact with an adult male in Florida through a smart phone gaming application (app) designed for use by children. The messages sent to the child by the adult male were increasingly graphic and sexually explicit. The FBI was able to identify this individual as Paul Edward Lee, Jr., a registered sexual predator living in a residence in Jacksonville along with eight other registered sex offenders. On April 25, 2018, an undercover FBI agent in Jacksonville, posing as the 14-year-old child, resumed text messaging with Lee. During these communications, Lee told the “child” in graphic terms how he wanted to have sex with the “child,” and he sent several images and videos of his own genitalia to the “child.” On April 27, 2018, Lee repeatedly texted and solicited the “child” to produce and send him graphic images and videos of “her” genitalia. When FBI agents executed a federal search warrant at his residence on May 2, 2018, Lee damaged his cellphone in an effort to conceal evidence of his criminal activity.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney D. Rodney Brown.
It is another case brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in 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.justice.gov/psc.