Virginia Man Convicted by Jury of Attempting to Entice Minor to Engage in Illicit Sexual Activity
|U.S. Attorney’s Office February 13, 2013|
WASHINGTON—Paul David Hite, 58, of Midlothian, Virginia, was found guilty by a jury today of two federal charges of attempting to entice a minor to engage in illicit sexual activity, announced U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. and Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.
Joining in the announcement were Valerie Parlave, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, and Cathy L. Lanier, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).
Hite was convicted of the charges following a trial in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years of imprisonment on each count, a maximum sentence of 30 years’ imprisonment on each count, and a fine of up to $250,000. The Honorable Colleen Kollar-Kotelly scheduled sentencing for July 2, 2013.
Evidence presented at trial established that from February 1, 2012 through February 17, 2012, Hite engaged in a series of Internet chats and telephone calls with an undercover police detective in Washington, D.C., who was posing as an adult who was sexually abusing a minor girl and a minor boy. During the course of the communications with the undercover detective, Hite described, in graphic detail, the sexual activity in which he wanted to engage with the purported minors. Hite also discussed plans to travel to Washington, D.C. for the purpose of sexually abusing the purported minors.
Hite was arrested near his residence in Midlothian on February 17, 2012. Law enforcement recovered computer equipment from Hite’s home, which uncovered evidence of child pornography.
This case was brought as part of the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood initiative and investigated by the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force, which includes members of the FBI’s Washington Field Office and MPD. In February 2006, the Attorney General created Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorney’s Offices, 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 identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhoodgov.
In announcing the verdict, U.S. Attorney Machen, Assistant Attorney General Breuer, Assistant Director in Charge Parlave, and Chief Lanier commended the work of all who participated in the investigation. They especially acknowledged the efforts of the MPD detectives and special agents of the FBI Child Exploitation Task Force. They expressed appreciation for the assistance provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, as well as the FBI’s Richmond Field Division.
They also acknowledged the efforts of Digital Investigative Analyst Christie Gardner of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, and Criminal Investigator John Marsh of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. They additionally commended the efforts of those who assisted with the case at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialist Starla Stolk; Legal Assistants Jessica Moffatt and Charmonique Price; Dawn Tolson-Hightower and David Foster of the Victim Witness Assistant Unit; and Joshua Ellen, Kimberly Smith, and Leif Hickling of the Litigation Services Unit.
Finally, they commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Elizabeth Wu from the Eastern District of Virginia, Diane Lucas of the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, and David B. Kent and Julieanne Himelstein of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, and Trial Attorney Darcy Katzin of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section.