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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, February 13, 2015

Johnson County Man Sentenced To 27 Months In Federal Prison On Obscenity Conviction

Defendant Sent Obscene Photograph To 13-Year-Old In San Angelo Area

LUBBOCK, Texas — Christopher Wayne Howard, 26, of Joshua, Texas, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Sam R. Cummings to 27 months in federal prison, following his guilty plea in October 2014 to one count of transferring obscene material to a minor, announced John Parker, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas.

Judge Cummings ordered Howard to surrender to the Federal Bureau of Prisons to commence service of his sentence on March 20, 2015.

According to documents filed in the case, in March 2014, Howard engaged in a series of online and telephone texting communications with “Jane Doe,” a person he knew to be a 13-year-old-female. During the communications, Howard often turned the subject to sexually explicit matters. On March 13, 2014, Howard chatted with “Jane Doe” and used an online application to send her an obscene, sexually explicit photograph of an adult male.

The case 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) and the San Angelo Police Department’s Special Operations Division investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven M. Sucsy prosecuted.

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Updated June 22, 2015