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Child Exploitation

Southeast Texas man sentenced to 10 years in prison for soliciting a minor

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A southeast Texas man was sentenced Monday to 10 years in federal prison for using a telephone and a computer connected to the Internet to coerce and entice a minor to engage in sexual activity, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson, Southern District of Texas. The joint investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Corpus Christi Police Department (CCPD).

Bryan Martin, 40, of Portland, Texas, was sentenced to 120 months in prison by Senior U.S. District Judge John D. Rainey. Martin's prison sentence will be followed by a 15-year term of supervised release and participation in sex offender treatment, which includes restrictions to access children. He will also be required to register as a sex offender for life. At the May 21 sentencing, Judge Rainey stated Martin had harmed the victim in the case, as well as his own family, who would now suffer both emotionally and financially due to his participation in these criminal acts.

Martin was indicted in January and pleaded guilty in February. He admitted that between Sept. 1 and Dec. 9, 2011, he began communicating over the telephone and the Internet with a child he knew to be 12 years old. The child's parent discovered the communications and reported them to the police.

The investigation into Martin was referred to CCPD's Internet Crimes against Children Task Force where an undercover officer began communicating with Martin in the persona of the child. During the communications, Martin expressed his desire to engage in sexual acts with the child. After devising a plan to meet with the minor, Martin was arrested at his home Dec. 8, 2011 on state charges. Martin was transferred to federal custody after the federal criminal complaint was filed Dec. 13, 2011. Martin will remain in federal custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility that will be determined in the near future.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lance Duke, Southern District of Texas, 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-DHS-2ICE 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 and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.