Los Angeles Man Sent To Federal Prison For Soliciting A Child For Sex
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Jeffrey Todd Howard, 34, of Los Angeles, Calif., has been ordered to prison following his conviction of soliciting a child for sex through the Internet, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. Howard was convicted after a two-day bench trial before Senior U.S. District Judge John D. Rainey on April 4, 2013.
Today, Judge Rainey handed Howard a total sentence of 120 months in federal prison. Howard will also be required to serve a term of 10 years of supervised release following completion of the prison term during which time he will be required to comply with numerous conditions of release designed to limit his contact with children.
During trial, the government called several witnesses detailing the offense. The court learned that in February 2012, a concerned citizen reported disturbing online communications with a person she had met online. During those communications, Howard offered to pay the citizen to obtain children so he could have sex with them. An undercover detective with the Corpus Christi Police Department’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (CCPD-ICAC) instructed the citizen to provide Howard with an email of her “friend” who might be able to help him obtain children for sex.
Howard emailed the undercover officer and began a month long series of communications ending in late March 2012. During the course of those communications, Howard discussed his desire to engage in criminal sexual acts with the officer’s 11 and 14-year-old daughters. Howard discussed how the officer should prepare her daughters in advance of his sexual encounter with them. Howard also sent pictures of his genitals to be shown to the daughters to increase their sexual interest in him.
Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) assisted in the investigation and discovered Howard had expressed an interest in sexually assaulting children with other women in the past. After his arrest in Los Angeles in November 2012, his phone was examined and determined to contain more than 1300 images which indicated a sexual interest in children.
Howard testified during his trial and admitted he had been sexually interested in children for two years but denied any intention to act on those desires.
Howard will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
CCPD-ICAC and HSI investigated.
This case, prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Lance Duke, was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."