Alabama man pleads guilty to enticing a minor to engage in sexual activity
NEWNAN, Ga. - Christopher Bradley Braden, who on two separate occasions arranged to meet minor girls for sex, pleaded guilty to enticing a minor to engage in illegal sexual activity.
“Braden was lurking on the internet seeking to prey on young girls,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak. “On two separate occasions, the defendant drove for hours hoping to have sex with the girls. Thanks to the vigilance of our local law enforcement partners, Braden will be held accountable for his depraved conduct.”
“The FBI’s Violent Crimes Against Children unit, along with the FBI Atlanta Metro Atlanta Child Exploitation Task Force (MATCH) remain vigilant for predators who pose a threat to our children,” said J. C. Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “Braden’s plea should send a message to child predators that law enforcement is hunting them just as they are hunting victims.”
“The internet is a tool that has provided our society with many wonderful conveniences, however, the internet also has a dark side that sexual predators can use to prey on children,” said Marietta Police Chief Dan Flynn. “This case is a good example of federal, state, and local law enforcement collaborating to counter criminal activity on the internet in order to protect our children.”
“Our department is fortunate to have teamed up with federal, state and local law enforcement partners to stop this predator,” said Bremen Police Chief Keith Pesnell. “I’m also grateful for the hard work of my officer who was involved in taking Braden off the street to protect our children.”
According to U.S. Attorney Pak, the charges and other information presented in court: In November 2016, Braden started communicating with a young girl on the cell phone app - Meet24. She told him that she was 13 years old. He immediately initiated sexual conversations with the minor, asking about her body development and her sexual experience. Braden sent her a video of himself masturbating. He made arrangements to meet her for the purpose of having sex with her on December 1, 2016. When Braden showed up at the pre-arranged location in Marietta, Georgia, he was met by two Marietta Police Department officers and was arrested. He was later released on bond. The 13-year-old girl was actually an undercover police officer.
In May 2017, almost six months later, Braden met a 14-year-old girl on the same cell phone app – Meet24. Like before, he asked the minor questions about her body development and her sexual experience. He even sent the girl a photo of his erect penis. Braden made arrangements to meet the minor at a gas station in Bremen, Georgia. While traveling to the gas station, he sent the girl a message confirming that she was 14 years old. When Braden showed up near the gas station, he was pulled over and arrested by Bremen Police Department officers. Like before, the 14-year-old girl was actually an undercover police officer.
Christopher Bradley Braden, 40, of Jasper, Alabama was charged in a federal indictment with two counts of enticing a minor to engage in illegal sexual activity. He pleaded guilty to one count, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for October 11, 2018, at 10:00 a.m. before U.S. District Judge Timothy C. Batten, Sr.
This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with assistance from the Marietta Police Department and the Bremen Police Department.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul R. Jones is prosecuting the case.
This case is being brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. In February 2006, the Attorney General launched Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorney’s Offices around the country, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.