Friday, August 11, 2006

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Attorney General Abbott Announces Five-Year Prison Sentence Against Former College Professor In Cyber Crimes Case

AUSTIN – Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott praised the work of his Cyber Crimes Unit today after prosecutors obtained a 60-month federal prison sentence in U.S. District Court against a former University of Texas-Pan American associate professor who used the Internet to solicit a teenage girl for sex.

Raymond Maurice Landry, Jr., 52, of Edinburg, was arrested by Cyber Crimes Unit investigators 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 federal charges of attempted coercion and enticement.

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Raymond M. Landry
Video of Arrest
Video of Oct. 5, 2005, arrest

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 a child predator will go to almost any length to meet and carry out a sexual assault on a young victim, even luring a child to travel halfway across the state to meet him,” said Attorney General Abbott. “Young Texans should never agree to get together with someone they meet online. Cyber criminals are logged into the same Internet chatrooms and social networking sites as children and teenagers and are growing more and more cunning in their approaches.”

Attorney General Abbott added: “I appreciate the tireless efforts of our Cyber Crimes Unit as well as the leadership and cooperation of U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton in bringing this man to justice."

In June, Landry 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 was also sentenced to serve five years of supervised release upon completion of his prison term.

Attempted coercion and enticement is a federal felony punishable by five to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Attorney General Abbott has made pursuing sexual predators a top priority of his administration. The Cyber Crimes Unit, which targets online predators, and the Fugitive Unit, which locates convicted child sex offenders who have violated the terms of their parole and could be stalking children, have combined for over 485 arrests of such offenders since Abbott took office in December 2002. His office also has obtained convictions against 45 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.