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Child Exploitation
06/10/2011

A south Texas attorney and former Democratic chair sentenced to 14 years for receiving, possessing child pornography

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - A former Victoria County Democratic party chairman was sentenced to 14 years and two months in prison for receiving and possessing child pornography, U.S. Attorney José Angel Moreno announced on Thursday. The investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Corpus Christi Police Department.

Stephen Jabbour, 57, of Victoria, Texas, is a licensed attorney in the state of Texas with a practice in Victoria, Texas, who was also serving as the Democratic Party Chair at the time of his arrest in August 2010, but has since resigned. Jabbour was sentenced on June 9 by Senior U.S. District Judge Hayden Head to 170 months in federal prison without parole, followed by a lifetime of supervised release. The court further ordered Jabbour to comply with additional conditions designed to protect children and the community. Jabbour must also register as a sex offender.

Jabbour pleaded guilty in January, admitting that between August and November 2008 he received child pornography via the internet and possessed child pornography in January 2010. This sentence includes a 170-month prison term for the conviction for receiving child pornography, and a 120-month imprisonment for the conviction for possessing child pornography. The court has ordered the sentences to be served concurrently.

According to the evidence presented in the case at the re-arraignment, Jabbour's collection of child pornography consisted of images and videos of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Immediately following his conviction in January, the court ordered Jabbour into federal custody without bond pending this sentencing.

During this hearing, government witnesses testified that Jabbour's collection of child pornography is believed to have been the largest such collection seized in the Southern District of Texas, and one of the largest seized in the United States. Jabbour possessed more than 250,000 images and videos of child pornography, and another 400,000 to 500,000 images and videos of child erotica. Additionally, testimony also described Jabbour's online "chatting" with other persons believed to be pedophiles and the exchanging of images and videos with them via the internet. In his online chats, Jabbour repeatedly declared his sexual interest in children 0-9 years old, stated he admired child kidnappers, and became sexually aroused when he heard of Amber alerts.

In deciding upon the sentence ultimately handed down, the court considered the need to protect the public from Jabbour and deter others from engaging in similar criminal activity. Jabbour will remain in federal custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be designated in the near future.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lance Duke, Southern District of Texas, prosecuted this case.

This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders, and child sex traffickers.

ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE. This hotline is staffed around the clock by investigators.

Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.