Colorado Man Sentenced in Federal Court for Interstate Travel to Have Sex with a Child
|U.S. Attorney’s Office October 08, 2009|
JACKSONVILLE, FL—U.S. District Judge Timothy J. Corrigan yesterday sentenced John Barry Coe (age 20, of Denver, Colorado) to 87 months in federal prison and a life term of supervised release for traveling from Colorado to the Jacksonville, Florida area for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual conduct with a minor child. Coe had previously pleaded guilty on April 9, 2009, and has been in custody since January 2009. Coe was also ordered to register as a sex offender.
According to court documents, in October 2008, Coe and a 14-year-old child (the “Child”) who resided in the state of Florida, met over the Internet while playing a game on a gaming website. At that time, Coe had been released on bond after being arrested on July 25, 2008 in Montana and charged with having sexual intercourse with a 14-year-old child. Coe and the Child engaged in online gaming together, and as the relationship progressed, they began to chat online through an instant messaging service and spoke by telephone.
According to court documents, during these online chat sessions, Coe and the Child engaged in explicit sexual conversation, and Coe and the Child discussed engaging in sexual conduct when they met in person. Eventually, Coe decided to travel from Colorado to Florida to meet the Child and engage in sexual conduct with the Child. Coe and the Child searched for bus schedules on the Internet. The plan was for Coe to take a bus from Denver to Florida and come directly to the Child's residence.
According to court documents, on January 7, 2009, Coe boarded a bus and left Denver, Colorado to travel to Florida to meet the Child for the purpose of engaging in sexual conduct with the Child. On January 9, 2009, Coe arrived in Jacksonville and traveled by city bus to a local shopping mall. Coe then took a taxi cab to the Child's residence. The Child's mother observed Coe climbing the fence, at which point the Child's mother was told that Coe was a 16-year-old student at a local high school. The Child's mother then drove Coe to a local shopping mall and dropped him off.
According to court documents, on January 11, 2009, unbeknownst to the Child’s mother, Coe returned to the Child's home and entered the Child’s bedroom through a window at approximately 11:30 p.m. At some point, the two engaged in sexual intercourse. Later, the Child’s mother discovered Coe trying to hide under the Child's bed and called 911. An officer with the Clay County Sheriff's Office arrived at the Child's residence shortly thereafter and placed Coe under arrest.
The case was investigated by the Clay County Sheriff's Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum’s CyberCrime Unit. Assistant United States Attorney D. Rodney Brown handled the prosecution of this case.
This case was brought as 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 United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's 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, and as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
Florida Attorney General McCollum's CyberCrime Unit is a member of the FBI Cyber Taskforce in Jacksonville and the North Florida Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, a federally-funded program working nationwide to educate and support law enforcement to stop these crimes. More information on the Florida Attorney General's CyberCrime initiative is available at http://www.safeflorida.net.