ABILENE, Texas — A North Texas man was sentenced Tuesday to more than 14 years in federal prison, for enticing a minor and aiding, and abetting.
This sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas. This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the Texas police departments of San Angelo, Abilene and Fort Worth.
Robert Blaine Harris, 50, of Fort Worth, has been in custody since his arrest in January 2016.
According to documents filed in the case, beginning in December 2015, Harris engaged in a relationship with a minor, Jane Doe 1, using Skout, an online dating application. Harris persuaded, induced, and enticed two 13-year-old girls, Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2, to engage in sexual activity.
On Jan. 2, 2016, Harris acknowledged in a message that he knew both girls were “underage and I could get in really big trouble and that would ruin my life.” In the early morning hours of Jan. 2, Harris traveled to Abilene and picked up the two 13-year-old girls and transported them to his Fort Worth residence to engage in sexual activity. The two juvenile females were recovered by law enforcement at Harris’ residence on Jan. 9 after Harris called the Fort Worth police.
Harris pleaded guilty in July 2016 to an indictment charging one count of enticing a minor, and aiding and abetting. U.S. District Judge Reed C. O’Connor sentenced Harris to 172 months in federal prison Oct. 18.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Juanita Fielden, Northern District of Texas, was in charge of the prosecution.
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 14,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child pornography, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2015, nearly 2,400 individuals 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.