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June 23, 2020Bismarck, NDUnited StatesChild Exploitation

North Dakota man sentenced to 20 years for cyberstalking, child exploitation

BISMARCK, N.D. — A central North Dakota man was sentenced in federal court Tuesday to 20 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to cyberstalking and sexually exploiting a minor.

This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the North Dakota Bureau of Investigation, the Burleigh County (North Dakota) States Attorney’s Office, and the Burleigh County Sheriff’s Department.

Curtis James McGarvey, 52, of Bismarck, North Dakota, was sentenced before U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland. In addition, McGarvey was sentenced to serve 10 years supervised release following his prison term, and was ordered to pay nearly $5,000 in restitution to the victim’s family.

“The defendant targeted and exploited the child victim,” said U.S. Attorney Drew Wrigley, for the District of North Dakota. “His efforts to dehumanize and humiliate the victim stopped with this sentence; a just result to punish this defendant and deter others.”

According to court records and the plea agreement, from September 2016 until January 2017, and again from January 2018 until April 2018, McGarvey persuaded, induced, enticed, and coerced a minor female victim, 16, to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing and distributing visual depictions of such conduct. Also, during that same period, McGarvey harassed and intimidated the victim, using an interactive computer service and electronic communications services and systems, causing substantial emotional distress. More specific, McGarvey secretly recorded the minor female victim entering and exiting the shower in her home, changing clothes in a residence, and converting parts of the videos into still images of the victim. McGarvey then used the images to harass and taunt the minor female victim by anonymously sending them to others, including his own minor and adult children, using the fraudulent emails and social media accounts he developed after stealing her personal information from her home and cell phone.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Gary Delorm.

This investigation was conducted under HSI’s Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators. Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 25,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child exploitation material, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2019, more than 3,500 child predators were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative and more than 1,000 victims identified or rescued.

HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. From outside the U.S. and Canada, callers should dial 802-872-6199. Hearing impaired users can call TTY 802-872-6196.

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-THE-LOST.

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 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.

Updated: 06/25/2020