210 Months Prison Sentence For Oregon Sex Offender Caught Luring, Threatening Young Columbus Girl Online
Teen's Mother Confronted Man Posing As A Teen, Alerted Authorities To Threats
COLUMBUS – A federal judge handed down a 210-month sentence today to an Oregon man guilty of Coercion and Enticement of a Minor, said Charles “Charlie” Peeler, the United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia. Colby Ray Cochran, 24, of Warrenton, Oregon, is a registered sex offender in his home state, having been convicted in July 2016 of the state felony charge of Luring a Minor. Mr. Colby was on probation, and was active on the Oregon sex offender registry, at the time he committed the federal sex crime in Georgia. The Honorable Clay Land presided over Tuesday’s sentencing in Columbus federal court, additionally sentencing Mr. Cochran to 15 years of supervised release. There is no parole in the federal system.
Mr. Cochran admitted in his plea agreement to first interacting with the 15-year-old female victim “Jane Doe” on Instagram, a popular social media application. Jane Doe, who was living on Fort Benning, a military installation in Columbus, first became active on Instagram and Snapchat in August 2017, and shortly thereafter made contact with Mr. Cochran on Instagram, under the username “utopic_ecchi” with a profile picture of a distinctive Japanese female anime character. They initially engaged in typical friendly small talk, but as their online relationship progressed, Mr. Cochran began asking Jane Doe for risqué photos of herself. Jane Doe told Mr. Cochran she was 15 years old and had a boyfriend. Mr. Cochran stated he was 19 years old. On October 17, 2017 he asked her to send nude photos on Snapchat, under the username “happycannon”. Mr. Cochran also sent Jane Doe several photos of his genitalia. Jane Doe soon regretted her actions, exited Snapchat, and blocked him.
At this point, Mr. Cochran began to threaten Jane Doe on Instagram, demanding more nude photos. She refused. Mr. Cochran threatened to spread her photos “all over” and share with her boyfriend. She replied that if he wanted to remain friends, he had to delete the photos. He warned her that he had an app that saved all the photos and again threatened to send them to her boyfriend. Mr. Cochran then proposed an arrangement where he would delete the photos if she agreed to continue to exchange nude photos occasionally. Jane Doe feigned interest in the arrangement while unsuccessfully trying to convince Mr. Cochran to delete the photos she had sent. Around this time, Jane Doe’s mother walked into a room and found her child crying. After being assured she wasn’t in trouble, Jane Doe told her mother what happened and described how she had been threatened by someone she met online. The mother, posing as Jane Doe’s father, confronted Mr. Cochran on Snapchat, stating the police had been contacted. The mother reported the incident to Fort Benning law enforcement, who turned the investigation over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Following an investigation, Mr. Cochran was located and taken into custody.
“This case paints a picture of what many parents fear most in today’s world—their children being lured by online predators into making terrible choices that threaten their safety and their future,” said Charles “Charlie” Peeler, the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia. “I want to commend the victim’s mother, who was attentive to her child’s distress and immediately notified authorities. I also want to recognize the excellent investigative work of the FBI. These agents quickly and methodically tracked down a predator and stopped him from potentially harming other children. Protecting our children in today’s technological environment is a difficult task, but our Office will do our part and hold child predators accountable for their criminal actions.”
“The FBI will always make it a top priority to protect the most vulnerable in our society, our children,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “It is clear from this sentencing that Cochran’s actions will not be tolerated by our justice system, and hopefully, it will send a message to anyone with similar perverse intent.”
The case was investigated by the FBI and the Clatsop County (Oregon) Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Crawford Seals prosecuted the case for the Government. Questions can be directed to Pamela Lightsey, Public Information Officer, United States Attorney’s Office, at (478) 621-2603 or Melissa Hodges, Public Affairs Director (Contractor), United States Attorney’s Office, at (478) 765-2362.