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Press Release

Texas Man Who Traveled To Tampa To Have Sex With 12-Year-Old Girl Sentenced To 11 Years In Federal Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida

Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Virginia Hernandez Covington today sentenced Benjamin Michael Tschirhart (35, Dallas, TX) to 11 years in federal prison and a lifetime of supervised release for attempting to entice a minor to engage in sexual activity.

Tschirhart had pleaded guilty on August 1, 2018.

According to court documents, Tschirhart, using the internet alias “jabberwockysuperfly,” contacted an undercover agent who was posing as a woman that was looking for a man to train her notional 12-year old daughter for sex. Over the course of one month, Tschirhart discussed his sexual desires and preferences for children and made plans to train and groom the “child” for sex.

Toward the end of April 2018, Tschirhart and the undercover agent made plans for Tschirhart to travel to Tampa to have sex with the “child.” On April 30, 2018, Tschirhart disembarked an Amtrak train in Tampa. The next day, Tschirhart arrived at the agreed upon location at the agreed upon time, where he was arrested. He had in his possession condoms and lubrication, as well as Skittles and Airheads—the “child’s” favorite candy.

This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Frank Murray.

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 United States Attorney’s 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

Updated November 6, 2018

Project Safe Childhood