Crowley man pleads guilty to taking videos of sex with minor
LAFAYETTE, La. – United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced that a Crowley man pleaded guilty Tuesday to using his cell phone to record sex acts with a minor.
Blake Damian Rodgers, 35, of Crowley, La., pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Carol Whitehurst to one count of production of child pornography. The plea will become final after it is accepted by U.S. District Judge Patricia Minaldi. According to the guilty plea, Rodgers was arrested and booked into the Acadia Parish jail February 24, 2016 on theft charges. While incarcerated, he had sexually explicit conversations on the phone with a 14-year-old minor. They discussed having had sexual intercourse and of videos he had taken of the acts on his cell phone. After retrieving the cell phone, law enforcement agents found several sexually explicit videos of the minor.
Rodgers faces 15 to 30 years in prison, five years to life of supervised release and a $250,000 fine. The court did not set a sentencing date.
This case is part of Project Safe Childhood, a U.S. Department of Justice nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ 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 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.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) also encourage the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at (866) 347-2423. Investigators are available at all hours to answer hotline calls. Tips or other information can also be submitted to ICE online by visiting their website at www.ice.gov/exec/forms/hsi-tips/tips.asp or through the Operation Predator smartphone application www.ice.gov/predator/smartphone-app. Tips may be submitted anonymously.
Homeland Security Investigations and the Acadia Parish Sheriff’s Office conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney David C. Joseph is prosecuting the case.