FORT WORTH, Texas - In separate and unrelated cases, two Northeast Tarrant County, Texas, men were indicted on Tuesday by a federal grand jury for possessing child pornography. These indictments were announced by U.S. Attorney James T. Jacks, of the Northern District of Texas. The investigations were conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Scott H. Denney, 48, of Keller, Texas, and William M. Fray, 57, of Grapevine, Texas, appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey L. Cureton, who ordered that each be released pending trial.
Each defendant is charged with one count of possessing child pornography. Denney's trial date is set for Aug. 16 before U.S. District Judge John McBryde. A trial date for Fray has not yet been set.
The indictment charging Denney alleges that in early March 2010 he possessed images and videos depicting minors, as young as infants, engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Evidence presented at the June 22 hearing revealed that Denney was employed as a mechanic for American Airlines and has served as a Boy Scout leader in Keller. Further evidence showed that he used a peer-to-peer software program to download child pornography to his computer.
The indictment charging Fray alleges that in June 2009 he possessed images depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. At his June 22 hearing, evidence was presented that he possessed hundreds of images of prepubescent girls engaged in sexually graphic conduct.
An indictment is an accusation by a federal grand jury and a defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence unless proven guilty. If convicted, however, each defendant faces a maximum statutory sentence of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and a lifetime of supervised release.
The cases are being investigated by ICE, Keller Police Department and Grapevine Police Department.
This investigation is 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. Since Operation Predator was launched in July 2003, ICE agents have arrested more than 12,800 individuals.
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.
This case was also brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice, to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorneys' offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.
For more information about Project Safe Childhood, visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Alex C. Lewis, Northern District of Texas, is prosecuting these cases.
For more information, visit www.ice.gov.