Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Texas Attorney General Abbott Obtains Guilty Plea In Cyber Crime Case Against Former College ProfessorAUSTIN – Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott today praised the work of his Cyber Crimes Unit after a former University of Texas-Pan American associate professor pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for online solicitation of a teenage girl. Cyber Crimes Unit investigators arrested Raymond M. Landry, Jr., of Edinburg on October 5, 2005 while he waited at a McAllen bus station for what he thought was a 13-year-old girl to arrive on a bus from Austin. He was indicted on November 1, 2005 on a federal charge of attempted coercion and enticement of a child, and he pleaded guilty to that charge.
This was the first Cyber Crimes Unit arrest in which a predator arranged for the potential victim to travel to him. The McAllen Police Department assisted in the investigation and arrest, and the case was prosecuted by the Texas Attorney General’s Office in partnership with U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton’s office.
“The case against this man shows that online predators will go so far as to set up a time, date and location where they want to meet and carry out a sexual assault on a young child,” Attorney General Abbott said. “Parents must be aware that child sex offenders are logged into the same Internet chatrooms and social networking sites as our children and teenagers. I appreciate their tireless efforts as well as the leadership and cooperation of U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton to make the state a safer place for Texas families."
In June, Landry, 52, began chatting online with a Cyber Crimes investigator who was posing as a 13-year-old female in the Austin area. After proposing a meeting for sex, Landry purchased a bus ticket for the "girl" to meet him in McAllen. Investigators subsequently arrested Landry, who taught accounting and business law part-time at the University of Texas-Pan American, while he waited for the bus to arrive in McAllen.
Landry faces punishment of 5 to 30 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,0000, plus a term of supervised release of up to life. Landry’s sentencing hearing has not yet been set.
Attorney General Abbott has made pursuing sexual predators a top priority of his administration. The Cyber Crimes Unit, which targets online predators, has made 76 arrests since Abbott formed the Unit in 2003. The Fugitive Unit, which locates convicted child sex offenders who have violated the terms of their parole and could be stalking children, has arrested over 270 such offenders. His office also has obtained convictions against 40 men on child pornography charges.
To find out more about Attorney General Abbott’s efforts to crack down on sexual predators, visit the Attorney General’s Web site at www.texasattorneygeneral.gov or call (800) 252-8011.