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Child Exploitation

New York pastor sentenced for victimizing a child

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — An upstate New York pastor, who was convicted of transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, was sentenced to 84 months in prison to be followed by 20 years supervised release. The sentence is the result of an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and members of the Monroe County (N.Y.) Sheriff's Office.

Joe N. Flowers Jr., 42, of Henrietta, N.Y., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge David G. Larimer. The sentence will be served consecutive to a state sentence the defendant is currently serving.

According to court documents, the defendant, a minister, transported a minor from Rochester to Orlando, Fla., with the intent of engaging in criminal sexual activity. Specifically, in June 2004, Flowers drove a child, who was then younger than 15 years of age, to Florida to visit an amusement park. While in Florida, the defendant engaged in sexual activity with the child, in violation of state law.

This case is the result of HSI's Operation Predator, a nationwide initiative to identify, investigate and arrest those who sexually exploit children. As part of Operation Predator, HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423 or its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Marisa J. Miller, Western District of New York, prosecuted this case on behalf of the U.S. government.