Nashville Musician Pleads Guilty in Federal Court to Attempted Enticement of a Minor
Banjo Player was in Dallas to Perform with Country Music Band at Local Bar
|U.S. Attorney’s Office February 15, 2013|
DALLAS—Abraham Eugene Spear, 30, of Nashville, Tennessee, pleaded guilty this morning in federal court in Dallas before Chief U.S. District Judge Sidney A. Fitzwater to one count of attempted enticement of a minor. He faces a statutory penalty of not less than 10 years and not more than life in prison, a $250,000 fine, and a lifetime of supervised release. Spear, who has been in federal custody since his arrest in September 2012 in Dallas, is to be sentenced by Judge Fitzwater on June 7, 2013. Today’s announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.
Spear admitted that from August 27, 2012 through September 20, 2012, he used the Internet and a cell phone to knowingly attempt to persuade an individual, whom he believed to be a 7-year-old girl, to engage in sexual activity. Spear, using the monikers of MUSICMAN30 and BANJOPAINE, communicated over several weeks with an undercover law enforcement agent, whom Spear believed to be the mother of two girls, ages 7 and 9. During these communications, he persuaded, or attempted to persuade, the “mother” to allow him to meet her two girls to engage in different sexual acts with him. On September 20, Spear traveled from Tennessee to Dallas to perform with the Josh Thompson band at a bar in Dallas. That day, he agreed to meet the mom at a restaurant in Dallas, and, after he was identified, he was arrested by special agents with the FBI. Spear admitted that many of the messages he sent were sexual in nature and geared toward the “mother’s” 7- and 9-year-old daughters. Spear also admitted sending a sexually explicit photo of himself to the “mother,” asking what the girls would think of the photo.
Spear also admitted that he had engaged in sexually explicit communications with other mothers of minor girls, including one in which he offered to pay $200 to engage in sexual acts with the mother’s minor daughter.
The matter was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative that was launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals, who sexually exploit children and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc. For more information about Internet safety education, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc and click on the tab “Resources.”
The investigation was conducted by the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Camille Sparks is in charge of the prosecution.