Ken Paxton

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

Federal Judge Sentences Erath County Man For Child Enticement Using Obscene Material

MIDLAND - Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott today hailed a federal court’s sentencing of an Erath County man who pleaded guilty in March to enticement of a minor, which involved transmitting obscene material via a Web camera to a person he thought was a 13-year-old girl.

Rickie Allan Osborn, 41, who was a resident of a halfway house in White Settlement at the time of his arrest in December, was sentenced to five years in federal prison and 10 years of supervised release upon completion of his sentence by U.S. District Judge Rob Junnell. He must also register as a sex offenderOsborn admitted to sending obscene digital photos of himself via the Internet to the girl from his residence in Erath County. The girl was actually an undercover Cyber Crimes Unit officer conducting an investigation in the Midland area in December using the unit’s mobile computer lab.

Our officers have been dispatched around the state in an effort to help local law enforcement officials pinpoint where would-be Internet child predators are in their communities, said Attorney General Abbott. Parents must be ever-vigilant to ensure their children use the Internet safely, and this case proves they have every reason to be watchful.

The Cyber Crimes Unit presented investigative evidence to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Midland on Dec. 21, resulting in a grand jury indictment. The evidence showed he transmitted the electronic visual material from Nov. 9 through Dec. 8. He was arrested on Dec. 27 by Cyber Crimes Unit officers.

I would like to extend our appreciation to the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas Johnny Sutton and his Midland office for assisting our investigation and prosecuting this defendant, Attorney General Abbott added.

Attorney General Abbott has made pursuing child sexual predators a top priority of his administration. The Cyber Crimes Unit marked its three-year anniversary in May by announcing the results of a successful sweep of predators attempting to meet children via the Internet in the Sugar Land area. The three men arrested as a result of these extensive investigations were allegedly attempting to meet children using Internet-based social networking sites.