COLUMBUS — An Ohio man pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of attempted sexual exploitation of children for using the Internet to attempt to arrange a sexually explicit photo shoot of young girls. The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
James Goodman, 44, of Springfield, Ohio, pleaded guilty in federal court after being arrested and charged in May 2010.
Carter M. Stewart, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; Brian M. Moskowitz, ICE HSI special agent in charge for Ohio and Michigan; Franklin County Sheriff Zach Scott; and Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced the plea which was entered before U.S. District Judge Gregory L. Frost.
According to a statement read by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Hunter during the hearing, Goodman posted an ad on a website in April 2010 seeking models for a photo shoot. Goodman used language commonly associated with child pornography.
An undercover investigator with the Franklin County Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force patrolling the Internet responded to the ad posing as a foster father of two young girls. After corresponding for several weeks, they agreed to meet at a restaurant west of Columbus.
When Goodman arrived for the meeting, task force officers arrested him. They searched his Springfield residence and found more than 100 images of child pornography on his desktop and laptop computers. Goodman has been in custody since his arrest.
Attempted sexual exploitation of children is punishable by at least 15 years and up to 30 years imprisonment. He can also be sentenced to be under court supervision for at least five years and up to the rest of his life. While under supervised release, Goodman must permit the installation of appropriate monitoring software, upon any computer that he owns, uses, or has access to that is connected to the Internet. He will also be required to register as a sex offender anywhere that he lives, works or goes to school.
Stewart commended the investigation by the Franklin County ICAC Task Force, Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Hunter, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Emily Pelphrey with Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine's Office, who are prosecuting the case.
ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing 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.