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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 2, 2014

Tampa Man Convicted Of Attempting To Induce Child To Engage In Sex Acts

Tampa, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that late yesterday, a federal jury found James Patrick Baker (33, Tampa) guilty of attempting to induce a child to engage in sex acts. He faces a maximum penalty of life in federal prison. A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for January 15, 2015. Baker was indicted on May 22, 2014.

According to evidence and testimony presented at trial, between April 17, 2014, and April 26, 2014, Baker communicated online with an individual he thought was a single mother of a twelve-year-old girl.  He was actually communicating with undercover law enforcement officers, participating in Operation Intercept III, seeking to identify individuals who pose a danger to children. During the conversations, Baker suggested that he, the mother, and the child engage in various sex acts together.  Baker emailed a picture of his genitalia to the “mother” and asked her to show her “child” the photograph.  He also had phone conversations with the “mother” and the “child.”  

On the evening of April 26, 2014, Baker left work early so that he could meet the “mother” and “child.” He drove to a location in Sarasota and was arrested. Baker had discussed bringing candy for the child as well as a condom.  He had both items with him when he was arrested. 

This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Amanda C. Kaiser.

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 (CEOS), 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.projectsafechildhood.gov.

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Updated January 26, 2015