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Child Exploitation

Utah child predator sentenced to 8 years

Defendant had multiple sexual encounters with underage girls

BOISE, Idaho — A volunteer firefighter and EMT from Utah was sentenced Monday to eight years in prison for traveling to engage in illicit sexual contact with a minor, following a probe by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and Idaho State Police (ISP).

Bo B. Burdick, 21, of Trementon, Utah, pled guilty last August. According to the plea agreement, Burdick began an online relationship with a 13-year-old Idaho girl on Facebook. He admitted to trading sexually explicit photos with the girl and travelling to Idaho to have sex with her.

In March 2012, HSI special agents in Utah interviewed Burdick and he told them he had traveled to Idaho in 2011 on four separate occasions to have sex with the girl. He also informed investigators that he had nude photos of the victim on his laptop. The ISP Cyber Crimes Unit's forensic analysis of equipment seized from Burdick turned up messages to and from the victim and Burdick, including descriptions of the types of explicit photos he wanted from her. The messages clearly showed Burdick was aware of the girl's age. ISP determined he also had photos of other young girls on his computer.

Burdick told investigators that while he was between the ages of 17 and 20, he had sexual encounters with 11 females in Utah whom he met online. Burdick told investigators four of them were younger than 16, including the Idaho victim. Burdick admitted that when he was age 19, he had a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old in Utah and fathered a child with her. Burdick was stopped when the victim's parents called police after discovering text messages between him and their daughter.

"Burdick's eight-year sentence sends a strong message that those who sexually exploit children will receive significant punishment," said U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson. "The criminal conduct in this case is tragic for the victim and her family. The dangers of sexual predators who lurk on the Internet is real and persistent. Idaho law enforcement at all levels will work together to aggressively pursue these offenders."

"This case illustrates the importance of parental involvement in a child's digital life," said Brad Bench, special agent in charge of HSI Seattle, who oversees HSI investigations in Idaho. "If not for the intervention of the girl's parents who discovered and reported the illicit activity, Burdick would have been free to victimize others. While parents are the first line of defense in protecting children, they are not alone. Every day HSI and its law enforcement partners work tirelessly to investigate arrest and prosecute child predators."

The case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Idaho.

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.