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Justice News

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

Monday, November 24, 2014

Pennsylvania Man Pleads Guilty to using the Internet to attempt to Exploit a Child in Lake Charles


LAFAYETTE, La. –United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced today that a Pennsylvania man pleaded guilty to attempting to entice a child in Lake Charles, La., to engage in sexual activity.

Timothy Kelly, 40, of Jeannette, Penn., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Richard T. Haik to one count of using a facility in interstate commerce to attempt to cause a minor to engage in elicit sexual activity.  According to evidence presented at the guilty plea, Kelly began communicating with a 13-year-old girl in Lake Charles early in 2013. He discussed sexually explicit conduct and sent explicit images of himself to the girl. He also requested that the girl have sex with him and discussed traveling to Louisiana for that purpose. On January 12, 13, and 14 of 2013, the defendant asked the girl to send him sexually explicit pictures of herself.

Kelly faces 10 years to life in prison, five years to life of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine for each count. A sentencing date was not set.

This case is part of Project Safe Childhood, a U.S. Department of Justice launched 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 (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.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security/Homeland Security Investigations/Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at (866) DHS-2ICE.  Investigators are available at all hours to answer hotline calls. Tips or other information can also be submitted to ICE online at www.ice.gov/exec/forms/hsi-tips/tips.asp.  Tips may be submitted anonymously.

Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys John Luke Walker and Jamilla A. Bynog are prosecuting the case.

Updated January 29, 2015