Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Mexia Resident Investigated and Prosecuted by Cyber Crimes Unit Receives 5 Years in PrisonMEXIA – Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s Cyber Crimes Unit today concluded its investigation and prosecution of a Mexia resident who e-mailed child pornography to a 14-year-old child in Illinois. James Lee Butler, 57, pleaded guilty to 10 counts of child pornography possession. He was sentenced to five years in prison on each count, with the sentences to run concurrently. Upon release, Butler must register as a sex offender for life.
The Cyber Crimes Unit’s investigation revealed that Butler used the popular social networking site MySpace.com to establish a false online profile as a 14-year-old boy. Using that profile, Butler e-mailed child pornography to a young Illinois teenager. The child’s mother reported the incident to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which turned the case over to the Cyber Crimes Unit. A Limestone County grand jury indicted Butler in September 2007.
“Today’s case is a prime example of how quickly child exploitation can spread from one state to another,” Attorney General Abbott said. “Parents and children must remain vigilant and remember that child predators often establish fake online profiles in order to build rapport with kids. Thanks to an observant mother, this child pornographer who created a false 14-year-old online profile is behind bars where he belongs. We are grateful to Limestone County District Attorney William DeFriend for his dedication to Texas children.”
Cyber Crimes Unit investigators discovered more than 50 images and videos of child pornography during a forensic exam of Butler’s home computer. Assistant Attorney General Sarah Wannarka prosecuted the case.
Attorney General Abbott has earned a national reputation for arresting and prosecuting online child predators. In 2003, he launched the Cyber Crimes Unit, which targets online predators by assuming the identities of young teenagers in Internet chat rooms, and the Fugitive Unit, which locates convicted sex offenders who have violated the terms of their parole. Attorney General Abbott’s initiatives have resulted in more than 600 arrests of such offenders. His office also has obtained convictions against more than 70 men on child pornography charges. For more information, contact the Office of the Attorney General at (800) 252-8011 or visit the Attorney General’s Web site at www.texasattorneygeneral.gov.