Darrick Shane Haaby, 35, of Tigard, Ore., pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to one count of using the Internet to solicit a minor to engage in unlawful sexual activity just prior to being sentenced by Senior U.S. District Judge Robert E. Jones. Haaby had been in federal custody since his arrest in November 2009.
Haaby came to the attention of law enforcement authorities after the girl's father, who had known Haaby for years, found sexually explicit electronic messages from him on the computer his daughter used. After confirming with his daughter that the messages were from Haaby, the girl's father immediately notified law enforcement.
Despite knowing the girl's age, Haaby repeatedly asked her to engage in various sexual acts with him. He persisted in those efforts even after the girl continually told him she would not have sex with him, and repeatedly asked him to stop talking to her about having sex.
An agent from HSI assumed the girl's online identity and continued chatting with Haaby. He was arrested after he traveled from his home to Washington state for the purpose of meeting the girl and having sex with her. He had condoms and a digital camera in his car at the time of his arrest.
The investigation into Haaby revealed he had sexually abused the girl in the past when he babysat her at his apartment. Haaby was convicted in Washington County, Ore., on two counts of first degree sexual abuse and was sentenced to 150 months in prison. He will serve his state sentence concurrently with his federal sentence.
U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon Dwight Holton praised the girl's father for his diligence in protecting her from an online predator. He also praised the swift and cooperative efforts of federal and local law enforcement agents that resulted in Haaby's arrest.
"Mr. Haaby knew precisely how young this little girl was," Holton said. "He abused her before, and went to great lengths to do so again, attempting to persuade her, manipulate her, and cajole her to engage in conduct that she clearly wanted no part of, and that no child should ever be subjected to."
"This significant sentence demonstrates the serious consequences child predators face when they pursue young people on-line with the intent to abuse and exploit them," said Leigh Winchell, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in the Pacific Northwest. "ICE will remain vigilant in our investigating this illegal and abhorrent behavior; we remain committed to the protection of our children."
In addition to his prison sentence, Haaby will be subject to a number of conditions upon his release including limitations on his association with minors and his use of computers.
He will also be required to participate in sex offender treatment and register as a sex offender.
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. ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE. This hotline is staffed around the clock by investigators.
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.