THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF TEXAS
Ken Paxton

Friday, September 7, 2007

Two Austin Child Pornographers Investigated By Cyber Crimes Unit Receive Federal Prison Sentences

AUSTIN Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s Cyber Crimes Unit continued its crackdown on sex predators Thursday, when a former Del Valle High School teacher and a former Austin Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA) employee were sentenced to federal prison on child pornography charges.

Former geometry teacher Leland Keith Easterling, 60, of Austin, received a 97-month federal prison sentence on two counts of possession of child pornography and one count of receipt of child pornography. Easterling will report to a federal facility at a later date.

Former ABIA security guard Victor R. Glass, 35, also of Austin, received a 72-month federal prison term on one count of receipt of child pornography and was immediately taken into custody. Assistant Attorney General Grant Sparks prosecuted both cases in conjunction with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

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 and child pornographers. We are grateful to U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton for his ongoing commitment to Texas children.

A joint investigation of Easterling’s computer by Attorney General Abbott’s Cyber Crimes Unit and U.S. Postal Service inspectors revealed more than 375 computer images of child pornography and nine digital video files of children engaged in sexual conduct. Investigators also uncovered a mail-order movie depicting a 13- or 14-year-old girl engaged in sexual acts with an adult male teacher in a classroom. Easterling confessed to ordering the videotape by mail.

ABIA referred Glass’s case to the Cyber Crimes Unit, which investigated Glass’s home computer in September 2006. Forensic analysis revealed that Glass received several images of children being sexually assaulted.

Attorney General Abbott has earned a national reputation for aggressively arresting and prosecuting child predators. Since 2003, the Cyber Crimes Unit and Fugitive Unit have arrested more than 600 sex predators. Prosecutors also have obtained convictions against more than 70 men on child pornography charges.

The cases are part of Project Safe Childhood, a national initiative that encourages the use of multi-jurisdictional task forces to investigate and prosecute the sexual exploitation of children online. In Texas, investigative assistance in these cases is provided by the Texas Attorney General’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, which is one of almost 50 federally funded task forces across the country dedicated to this project. For more information on Project Safe Childhood, visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

For more information about Attorney General Abbott’s crackdown on sex offenders, contact the Office of the Attorney General at (800) 252-8011 or visit the agency’s Web site at www.texasattorneygeneral.gov.