Defendants Enter Guilty Pleas In Child Pornography Cases
LUBBOCK, Texas — Three defendants charged in unrelated cases appeared yesterday before U.S. District Judge Sam R. Cummings and pleaded guilty to various felony child pornography offenses. In each case, Judge Cummings ordered a presentence investigation report with a sentencing date to be set after the completion of that report. U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas made the announcement today.
Rocky Joe Williams, 37, of Littlefield, pleaded guilty to one count of transportation of child pornography. He faces a statutory penalty of not less than five years or more than 20 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine and a lifetime of supervised release. Williams, who is on bond, admitted that he used his cell phone and the Google Picasa Web photo-sharing site on the Internet to transport numerous images of child pornography.
Parker James Chapman, 23, of Lubbock, pleaded guilty to an Information charging one count of attempted possession of child pornography and aiding and abetting. He faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine and a lifetime of supervised release. Chapman, who is on bond, admitted that he used his cell phone to communicate with a person he believed to be a minor, under age 18, after responding to an online personal add. That person, however, was an undercover police officer posing as a 15-year-old female. Chapman requested a photograph of the minor, but after he received a non-sexual image of a minor, Chapman requested something “more interesting.” Chapman admitted that in making this request, it was his intent to receive an image of child pornography.
Christopher Anthony Lovato, 30, of Lubbock, pleaded guilty to an Information charging one count of possession of child pornography and aiding and abetting. He faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine and a lifetime of supervised release. Lovato, who is on bond, admitted that he used his cell phone to possess numerous images of child pornography that had been received from the Internet.
The cases were brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative, which was launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice, to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals, who sexually exploit children, and identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/. For more information about internet safety education, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/ and click on the tab “resources.”
The Lubbock Police Department Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the FBI investigated the cases, and the Littlefield Police Department and the Texas Department of Public Safety also assisted in the investigation of the Williams case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven M. Sucsy is prosecuting.