Upshur County man hides cell phone in bathroom to record video, photos of minor, pleads guilty to child sexual exploitation

Crime & Public Safety

MARSHALL, Texas (KETK) – A man from Gilmer, Texas pleaded guilty to sexual exploitation of a child on Wednesday, according to Acting U.S. Attorney Nicholas J. Ganjei.

Michael Parker, 41, pleaded guilty to this offense before U.S. Magistrate Judge Roy Payne.

“The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Texas places the highest priority on protecting our children from sexual predators,” said Ganjei. “Those that seek to victimize minors should know that the EDTX will do whatever it takes to find them and bring them to justice for their heinous crimes.”

Court information states that Parker hid a cell phone in a bathroom to capture video of a minor under the age of 12. Parker moved the phone to get images and videos of the child. He also distributed the photos and videos to other people through online platforms such as e-mail, a cloud storage account and a social media application used for photo-sharing.

A federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Parker with federal violations on Sep. 17, 2020, said the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Parker may face up to 30 years in federal prison, but he has not been sentenced as of this writing. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after a presentence investigation is completed by the U.S. Probation Office.

“This case is part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.  Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims,” said the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.

This case is being looked into by the Department of Homeland Security, the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Gilmer Police Department and the Longview Police Department. It is also being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Noble.

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