PLANO, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Cody Ryan Turner of Irving was sentenced to ten years in federal prison for child exploitation violations in the Eastern District of Texas. A jury convicted him on March 10, 2021 of attempted coercion and enticement of a minor.
"This case is a sober reminder that there are those out there lurking in cyberspace who target children to engage in sexually explicit chat conversations, seeking to eventually meet and sexually abuse these kids," said Acting U.S. Attorney Nicholas J. Ganjei. "Parents and teens need to approach online 'friends' critically and with caution. The enticement of minors is not just something we see on television."
According to information presented in court, in August 2019, Turner began messaging an individual he believed to be a young teen on a popular social media application. After receiving no response throughout August 2019, he sent a graphic image to the child in December 2019 then messaged the child again in June 2020, asking if she was interested in a sugar daddy-sugar baby relationship. At that point, the individual Turner believed to be a teen responded, and identified herself as a child. Between June 2020 and Sep. 8, 2020, Turner sent a series of sexually explicit messages to this individual, asking about the child's body and development, discussing the child's parents and ways to circumvent their supervision of the child's online activities, and meeting for sex.
On Sep. 8, 2020, believing that the child was attending school online because of COVID, Turner messaged asking "want company"? After stating his intention to drive to the child's home, Turner asked for verification of the child's identity, noting "you are very young so there is big risk for me." Evidence introduced at trial showed that Turner drove from Irving to a location in Plano to meet the child, at which time he was arrested by a joint team of FBI and the Plano Police Department.
Turner admitted to texting with the teen but claimed that he believed the person to be "fake" and had driven to the meet site to call "Gotcha!" on the individual. Turner further stated that he could not explain his actions.
"Thank you to our partners at the Plano Police Department for helping us stop an individual who attempted to entice a child. This case reminds all of us to remain vigilant about our children's online behavior and social media presence," said FBI Dallas Special Agent in Charge Matthew DeSarno. "We encourage parents to speak with their children about the dangers of online predators who use popular apps, games, and websites and to report any suspicious activity to law enforcement."
This case was investigated by the Plano Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Marisa Miller.
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