Former Youth Softball Coach Sentenced to Federal Prison for Possessing and Transporting Child Pornography
SAN ANTONIO – A New Braunfels man was sentenced in a federal court in San Antonio to 168 months in prison followed by 15 years of supervised release for the receipt of child pornography.
According to court documents, Jonathan Travis Flora, 35, met a Canadian minor in July 2018 while playing an online video game. Knowing each other’s ages, the two held conversations that were often sexual in nature and exchanged nude photos and videos of themselves through gaming communication features as well as a phone messaging application.
In March 2019, Flora purchased a cell phone with a Canadian area code in order to continue communicating with the child victim under the guise that Flora was a classmate. The following month, the victim’s father received an unusually high phone bill and found that the child had exchanged more than 2,000 phone messages in a 15-day period. The victim then disclosed her interactions with Flora and the Ontario Provincial Police initiated an investigation.
“Preying on children will not be tolerated,” said U.S. Attorney Jaime Esparza for the Western District of Texas. “This case reminds us that sexual predators can be found lurking in a multitude of places, including online video games, but it also shows the dedication shared by federal, state and international law enforcement to protect children and aggressively pursue those predators who manipulate them and prey upon their innocence.”
“Individuals who commit crimes against children will be investigated and brought to justice by Homeland Security Investigations,” said Special Agent in Charge Craig Larrabee for HSI San Antonio Division. “This case highlights the importance of cooperation between law enforcement entities, domestically and globally, to pursue criminals who target children.”
HSI, the New Braunfels Police Department and the Ontario Provincial Police investigated the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Tracy Thompson 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 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.justice.gov/psc.