Former Charlotte Attorney Is Sentenced To 10 Years For Online Enticement Of A Minor
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A former Charlotte attorney was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Max O. Cogburn Jr. to 10 years in prison for the online enticement of a minor, announced Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. Joshua Michael Reed, 32, was also ordered to register as a sex offender and to serve the rest of his life under court supervision after he is released from prison.
Robert R. Wells, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte Division, joins U.S. Attorney King in making today’s announcement.
According to court documents and today’s court proceedings, between February 10 and February 18, 2020, Reed used the Kik Messenger application to engage in multiple communications with an FBI undercover employee posing as a 13-year-old female. Court records show that during these communications Reed discussed his interest in engaging in sexual contact with the “minor” and tried to solicit a nude photograph from the minor. Reed also discussed making arrangements to meet the minor and told the minor they had to be careful or he could get into trouble because “older guys are not supposed to mess around” with girls the minor’s age.
On October 22, 2020, FBI agents executed a search warrant at Reed’s residence and seized numerous electronic devices. Reed’s laptops contained the aforementioned online Kik chats, as well as images depicting the sexual abuse of children. According to documents filed in the case, law enforcement also recovered previous online chats dating back to approximately five years between Reed and females who claimed to be minors, some as young as 13.
On June 8, 2021, Reed pleaded guilty to coercion and enticement of a minor. He is currently in federal custody and he will be transferred to custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility.
U.S. Attorney King commended the FBI for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Reed.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Alfredo De La Rosa of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte prosecuted the case.
This 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 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.