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Child Exploitation

Corpus Christi, Texas, police officer charged with soliciting a minor

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A local police officer was arrested Tuesday on charges of soliciting a minor for sex, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson, Southern District of Texas. This investigation was conducted by the Corpus Christi Police Department's Internet Crimes against Children Task Force (ICAC), and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

The complaint alleges that between May 1, 2011 and April 1, Robert McChester Jr., 25, began communicating with a girl he knew to be 15 years old. Shortly thereafter, the victim allegedly made an outcry to medical professionals regarding the inappropriate relationship she had been engaged in with a Corpus Christi Police Department (CCPD) officer.

McChester, an active duty patrol officer with CCPD, had been communicating with the victim via the Internet for about a year, beginning in May 2011 and continuing to the date of the victim's outcry, according to the complaint. The victim further alleged they had met on several occasions and engaged in inappropriate activities.

Online communications between McChester and the victim were recovered and determined to contain content of an inappropriate sexual nature. McChester was arrested shortly after the federal complaint was filed. He is expected to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge B. Janice Ellington April 11.

This investigation is part of HSI's Operation Predator, a nationwide initiative to identify, investigate and arrest those who sexually exploit children, and the Department of Justice's Project Safe Childhood, which marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children using the Internet.

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 via its online tip form. 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.