Florida Man Pleads Guilty to Charge of Traveling to Sexually Exploit a Minor
WASHINGTON – A Florida resident pleaded guilty today to one count of traveling in interstate commerce for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual conduct with a minor, Acting Assistant Attorney General Matthew Friedrich of the Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida R. Alexander Acosta and Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Miami Division Jonathan I. Solomon announced.
Bobby Minnis, 45, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Paul C. Huck at the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Florida. According to information presented at the plea hearing, Minnis flew from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in 2005 to Texas to meet a 14-year-old minor and traveled by car back to Fort Lauderdale with the minor. Once he was back in Florida, Minnis admitted he engaged in sexual acts with the minor. Minnis also admitted he used the Internet to communicate with the minor prior to traveling to Texas and misrepresented his identity in an effort to persuade the minor to travel with him and engage in sexual conduct.
Minnis’s sentencing has been scheduled for Oct. 23, 2008. At sentencing, Minnis will face a maximum of 30 years in prison, a lifetime of supervised release following his release from prison and a $250,000 fine.
In a prior Florida state prosecution on related charges involving the same minor, Minnis was convicted on five counts of lewd or lascivious battery and one count of interference with custody of a minor, for which he was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Minnis was also convicted of attempted murder for hire because he attempted to have the minor killed prior to the state trial. Minnis was sentenced to five years in prison for the attempted murder for hire charge, which will run consecutive to the 15 years he received for lewd or lascivious battery and interference with custody of a minor. Minnis was already serving his prison sentence on the state conviction prior to today’s federal conviction.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida Robin Waugh-Farretta and Trial Attorney Alecia Riewerts of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS). The investigation was handled by the FBI, the Fort Lauderdale Police Department and the High Tech Investigative Unit of CEOS.
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