LUBBOCK, Texas — A man formerly from west Texas pleaded guilty Thursday before U.S. District Judge Sam R. Cummings to a superseding indictment charging one count of attempted transfer of obscene material to a minor.
This guilty plea was announced by U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas. This investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the Kenton County (Kentucky) Police Department.
Judge Cummings ordered a presentence investigation report with a sentencing date to be set after the report is completed.
Paul Harvilicz, 62, of Copperas Cove, Texas, who has been in custody since he was arrested in Waco, Texas, March 27, 2013 on related charges, faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine, and a lifetime of supervised release.
According to court documents, from May 29 through mid-October 2011, while living in Big Spring, Texas, Harvilicz engaged in a series of communications using Yahoo! messaging and email with a person he believed to be a 15-year-old girl. In fact, Harvilicz was actually communicating with a law enforcement officer in Kentucky. On June 28, 2011, Harvilicz emailed this person an obscene video file, depicting an adult male and female engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven M. Sucsy, Northern District of Texas, is in charge of the prosecution.
This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI 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. HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423 or by completing 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, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-843-5678.
HSI is a founding member and current chair of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.