MARSHALL, Texas – A Gilmer, Texas man has pleaded guilty to federal child exploitation violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Nicholas J. Ganjei.
Michael Parker, 41, pleaded guilty to sexual exploitation of a child today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Roy Payne.
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Texas places the highest priority on protecting our children from sexual predators,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Nicholas J. Ganjei. “Those that seek to victimize minors should know that the EDTX will do whatever it takes to find them and bring them to justice for their heinous crimes.”
According to information presented in court, Parker hid a cellular phone in a bathroom for the purpose of capturing video recordings of a minor under the age of twelve. Parker positioned the phone to intentionally capture images and videos of the child. Parker then distributed the images and videos of the child to other individuals utilizing multiple online communications platforms, including e-mail, a cloud storage account, and a photo-sharing social media application.
A federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Parker with federal violations on Sep. 17, 2020. Under federal statutes, Parker faces up to 30 years in federal prison. The maximum statutory sentence prescribed by Congress is provided here for information purposes, as the sentencing will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office.
This case is part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the 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.justice.gov/psc.
This case is being investigated by the Department of Homeland Security, the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Gilmer Police Department and the Longview Police Department and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Noble.