Published on 21 March 2016
Southeast Texas babysitter convicted of producing child pornography
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A Southeast Texas man admitted Monday to sexually exploiting a child to produce child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson, Southern District of Texas.
This investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the Aransas Pass (Texas) Police Department with the assistance of the Corpus Christi Police Department’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
Daniel Benson Billman, 42, from Aransas Pass, pleaded guilty to the charges before Senior U.S. District Judge Janis Graham Jack. At the hearing, Judge Jack heard that authorities had learned of a possible sexual assault of a child in August 2015. The child was identified and confirmed the abuse, and identified Billman as the man who committed the crime. On Jan. 4, Billman admitted he sexually assaulted the child and took explicit photographs and videos of the incident.
Authorities executed a search warrant at Billman’s residence and seized several electronic media storage devices. A forensic examination of the storage devices revealed images and videos of the child involved in sexually explicit conduct.
Billman and his girlfriend had placed an ad on Craigslist offering babysitting services. The victim’s mother answered the ad and the girlfriend was supposed to care for the children. Instead, Billman sexually assaulted the 7-year-old girl in a hotel and in his girlfriend’s Ford Explorer. He also recorded the crime.
Sentencing is scheduled for March 17. At that time, Billman faces a minimum of 25 and up to 50 years in federal prison, and a possible $250,000 fine. After he completes any prison term imposed, Billman also faces a maximum of life on supervised release during which time the court can impose a number of special conditions designed to protect and prohibit his use of the Internet.
Billman was arrested on the federal charges in October 2015 and has been in custody since that time where he will remain pending his sentencing hearing.
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.
For additional information about wanted suspected child predators, download HSI’s Operation Predator smartphone app or visit the online suspect alerts page.
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