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Press Release

Taylor County Man Sentenced to 135 Months in Federal Prison for Enticing a Minor to engage in Sexual Activity With Him

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Texas

ABILENE, Texas — William David Harden, 65, formerly of Tye, Texas, was sentenced this morning by U.S. District Judge Reed C. O’Connor to 135 months in federal prison, following his guilty plea in May 2016 to one count of enticement of a minor, announced U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.

Harden has been in custody since his arrest on a federal indictment in August 2015.

According to documents filed in the case, from approximately May to July 2015, Harden engaged in a cell phone texting relationship with a female minor, under age 17, in which he knowingly persuaded, induced, and enticed her to engage in sexual activity with him.  Specifically, in early July 2015, Harden knowingly persuaded, induced, and enticed, and attempted to persuade, induce and entice this minor female to engage in sexual activity with him, suggesting to the minor female that by doing so, she could repay him for arranging to get a motel room where she could meet up with a friend.

At today’s sentencing hearing, Judge O’Connor also ordered that Harden forfeit his 2008 pickup truck that he used to transport this minor female and another minor to that motel.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Project Safe Childhood (PSC) initiative.  PSC is a department initiative launched in May 2006 to combat the proliferation of technology-facilitated sexual exploitation crimes against children.  Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, PSC marshals federal, state, tribal and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.  Since FY 2011, the Department of Justice has filed 20,260 PSC cases against 19,111 defendants.  These cases include prosecutions of child sex trafficking; sexual abuse of a minor or ward; child pornography offenses; obscene visual representation of the sexual abuse of children; selling or buying of children; and many more statutes.  To learn more about PSC’s work, please visit:

The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Abilene Police Department, and the Taylor County Sheriff’s Office.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven M. Sucsy, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Lubbock, Texas, was in charge of the prosecution.

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Updated September 19, 2016

Project Safe Childhood