You are here

Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Sex Offender “Babysitter” Sentenced to 50 Years for Producing Child Pornography

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A 43-year-old resident of Aransas Pass has been ordered to federal prison following his conviction of sexual exploitation of a child, otherwise known as production of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Daniel Benson Billman Jr., pleaded guilty to the charges Jan. 4, 2016.

Today, Senior U.S. District Judge Janis Graham Jack handed Billman a sentence of 600 months in federal prison. Billman was further ordered to serve the rest of his life on supervised release, during which time he will have to comply with numerous requirements designed to restrict his access to children and the Internet. He will also be ordered to register as a sex offender and must pay $8000 in restitution. In handing down the sentence, Judge Jack told Billman that if she could have given him more time, she would have done so.

At today’s hearing, the court heard an impact statement from the victim’s mother. In the statement, the victim’s mother detailed how the crime had affected her daughter and family. Additional information was also presented including the fact that Billman had 14 previous criminal convictions. Of those, five were for failing to register as a sex offender. The court also heard testimony from a Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agent who explained that authorities discovered text messages between Billman and a woman who had an 11-year-old daughter. In the text messages, Billman requested nude photographs of the child, instructed the woman on how to take the photographs and instructed her on how to groom the child in order to entice her into having sex with Billman. 

At the time of his plea, Judge Jack heard that authorities had learned of a possible sexual assault involving a seven-year-old child in August 2015. The child was soon identified, confirmed the abuse and that Billman was the man who committed the crime.

Authorities executed a search warrant at Billman’s residence and seized a cellular telephone. Forensic examination led to the discovery of three images and one video of the child involved in sexual explicit conduct.  Authorities also located over 1,000 images of child pornography.  The images depicted infants and toddlers involved in sexual explicit conduct.  Many of the images included bondage with the use of rope and duct tape as well as bestiality.

Billman admitted he sexually-assaulted the child and took explicit photographs and video of the incident.

Billman and his girlfriend had placed an ad on craigslist offering babysitting services. The victim’s mother answered the ad and the girlfriend was supposed to care for the children. Instead, Billman sexually assaulted the seven-year-old girl in a hotel and in his girlfriend’s Ford Explorer. He also recorded the crime.

Billman was arrested on the federal charges in October 2015 and has been in custody since that time where he will remain pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

The charges were the result of an investigation conducted by HSI and the Aransas Pass Police Department with the assistance of the Corpus Christi Police Department - Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

This case, prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Hugo R. Martinez, 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."

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Updated March 16, 2016