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Child Exploitation

Former west Texas man sentenced to 6 years in federal prison for emailing obscene video to undercover law enforcement officer

Defendant believed he was sending video to a 15-year-old girl

LUBBOCK, Texas — A Texas man was sentenced Friday by U.S. District Judge Sam R. Cummings to six years in federal prison for emailing obscene material to a minor.

U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña, of the Northern District of Texas, announced this sentence. This investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the Kenton County Police Department, Kenton County, Kentucky.

Paul Harvilicz, 62, of Copperas Cove, Texas, has been in custody since he was arrested in Waco, Texas, March 27 on related charges. Harvilicz pleaded guilty in August to a superseding indictment charging one count of attempted transfer of obscene material to a minor.

According to the factual resume filed in the case, 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, who represented that she lived in Kentucky. 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 prosecuted this case.

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.

For additional information about wanted suspected child predators, download HSI's Operation Predator smartphone app or visit the online suspect alerts page.

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.