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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Fort Worth Man Admits to Kidnapping and Enticing Two Teenage Girls to Engage in Sexual Activity

ABILENE — A Fort Worth, Texas, man, Robert Harris, 50, appeared this morning before U.S. Magistrate Judge E. Scott Frost and pleaded guilty to an indictment charging one count of enticement of a minor and aiding and abetting, announced John Parker, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Texas.

Harris faces a statutory penalty of not less than 10 years and not more than life in federal prison.  Each count also carries up to a $250,000 fine and up to a lifetime of supervised release.  Harris has been in custody since his arrest in January 2016.  Sentencing will be set at a later date.

According to documents filed in the case, beginning in December 2015, Harris engaged in a relationship with a minor, Jane Doe 1 using Skout, an online dating application. Harris persuaded, induced, and enticed Jane Doe 1 and another 13-year-old female, Jane Doe 2 to engage in sexual activity.

On January 2, 2016 Harris acknowledged in a message that he knew both girls were “underage and I could get in really big trouble and that would ruin my life.” In the early morning hours of January 2, 2016 Harris traveled to Abilene and picked up the two 13-year-old females and transported them to his residence in Fort Worth to engage in sexual activity. The two juvenile females were recovered by law enforcement at Harris’ residence on January 9, 2016 after Harris had called the Fort Worth police.

The matter was 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.”

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), San Angelo Police Department, Abilene Police Department and Fort Worth Police Department are conducting the investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Juanita Fielden is in charge of the prosecution.

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Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Updated July 13, 2016