Wednesday, June 27, 2007
The tough sentences handed down by Judge Marcia Crone send a strong message: Texans will not tolerate criminals who prey upon our children, Attorney General Abbott said. The Cyber Crimes Unit will continue to protect young Texans by aggressively cracking down on sex predators. We are very grateful to U.S. Attorney John Ratcliffe and the Beaumont Police Department for their commitment to Texas children.
Cyber Crimes Unit investigators arrested Robinson in October 2006 after he solicited sex online from someone he believed was a 13-year-old girl. When he arrived for the meeting, Robinson discovered that the girl was actually an undercover Cyber Crimes investigator. He was indicted by a Beaumont federal grand jury in November 2006 and entered a guilty plea in February.
Hutto was also arrested by Cyber Crimes Unit investigators after he drove nearly 50 miles from Spurger to Beaumont to meet and sexually assault someone he believed to be a 13-year-old boy. At the time of his arrest, Hutto indicated he was employed as a special education teacher’s aide at area middle schools. Hutto was also indicted in November 2006 and pleaded guilty Feb. 20.
The cases are part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC), a national initiative announced by U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales earlier this year. PSC encourages the use of multi-jurisdictional task forces to investigate and prosecute the sexual exploitation of children over the Internet. In addition to tough law enforcement, PSC encourages community-wide campaigns to assist victims and to educate parents, other adults, and children about Internet safety. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
In Texas, investigative assistance in these matters is provided by the Texas Attorney General’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC). In May 2006, Attorney General Abbott’s Cyber Crimes Unit was awarded a $300,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention to establish an ICAC Task Force. The Texas Attorney General’s ICAC Task Force is one of almost 50 federally funded task forces across the country dedicated to this project.
Attorney General Abbott has earned a national reputation for aggressively arresting and prosecuting 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 child sex offenders who have violated the terms of their parole and could be stalking children. Attorney General Abbott’s initiative has netted more than 600 arrests of such offenders. His office also has obtained convictions against more than 60 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.