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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Arkansas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, June 24, 2016

Former Fayetteville Teacher Sentenced to 10 Years in Federal Prison for Online Enticement of a Minor

            Fayetteville, Arkansas - Kenneth Elser, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, announced that Evan Ballowe, age 25 of Fayetteville, was sentenced today to 10 years in federal prison and 15 years of supervised release for Online Coercion and Enticement of a Minor with the Intent to Engage in Criminal Sexual Activity.  The sentencing took place before the Honorable Timothy L. Brooks in the United States District Court in Fayetteville.

            According to court records, a complaint was made by a 13 year old boy to his school resource officer about an online conversation he had with another individual on social media in which he was propositioned for sexual activity.  The minor turned over his tablet containing the online conversation to law enforcement.  A review of the online conversation reflects that on October 12, 2015, a user profile named Southern Guy contacted the 13 year old asking if he was single, telling him he was cute, and asking his age.  The minor responded that he was 13 and Southern Guy stated he was 15 and lived in Springdale.   Southern Guy proceeded to engage the minor in a sexually explicit conversation and sent him sexually explicit photos.  The minor tells him no that he is not gay but Southern Guy persists trying to convince the minor to sneak out of the house when his parents are asleep to meet him for sex.  Law enforcement was able to obtain the subscriber information related to the Southern Guy screen name which returned to the Fayetteville address of the defendant Evan Ballowe.  After Ballowe made another attempt to contact the minor, law enforcement executed a search warrant on his home.  During the post Miranda interview, Ballowe admitted to using the online screen name of Southern Guy and to engaging in the sexually explicit conversation with the 13 year old minor.  Ballowe was indicted by a federal grand jury on December 9, 2015 and pleaded guilty on February 3, 2016. 

            This case was investigated by the Homeland Security Investigations and the Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce.  Assistant United States Attorney Dustin Roberts prosecuted the case for the United States.

            The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and their Criminal Division Child Exploitation and Obscenity Sections (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

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Related court documents may be found on Public Access to Electronic Records Website @www.Pacer.gov

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated June 24, 2016