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Turlock man gets 11 years in prison for coercing minor | Crime

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Turlock man gets 11 years in prison for coercing minor
Crime, News, People
Turlock man gets 11 years in prison for coercing minor

TURLOCK - U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner announced that Brian Robert Garrett, 26, of Turlock, was sentenced Monday to 11 years in prison, payment of $35,000 in restitution, and a requirement to participate in a sex offender treatment program while in prison for coercing a minor female to engage in criminal sexual activity online. Garrett’s prison sentence will be followed by 15 years of supervised release during which his access to computers, the Internet, and minors will be restricted. He will also be required to register as a sex offender.

This case was the product of an investigation by the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Forces in Wisconsin, Sacramento, and Fresno. Assistant U.S. Attorney David Gappa prosecuted the case.

According to court documents, beginning in January 2009, Garrett established an account on a social networking website, purporting to be a minor female. He then gained the trust of an actual minor female in Wisconsin and introduced her to a male “cousin” of his fictitious persona. The chats became sexual in nature. Garrett offered to have the victim fly from Wisconsin to California at his expense, and convinced her to send him sexually explicit images of herself. Garrett purchased a new digital camera for the victim and threatened to post sexually explicit images of her on the Internet if she did not send him additional sexually explicit pictures of herself. Garrett continued to communicate with the minor female by phone, e-mail, and text messaging, even after the victim’s mother told him to stop harassing the minor female.

Law enforcement intervened and learned that Garrett had already been the subject of complaints to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children CyberTipline by two minor females in California. Garrett had approached them on a social networking site while using the identity of a 15-year-old male. A search warrant was executed at Garrett’s residence on March 15, 2010, and investigators determined that, in addition to communicating with the victim in Wisconsin, he had used a peer-to-peer software program to search for images of child pornography. Several images of child pornography were found on his computer.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC), a nationwide initiative by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, PSC mobilizes federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information, visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov or call the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California and ask to speak with the PSC coordinator.

Crime, News, People