Former Youth Minister Pleads Guilty to Child Enticement Offense
DALLAS—A former youth minister in Garland, Texas, pleaded guilty yesterday to a federal child enticement offense, announced John Parker, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas.
Derek Hutter, 37, appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge David L. Horan and pleaded guilty to a superseding information charging one count of enticement of a minor. He faces a statutory penalty of not less than 10 years and up to life in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. Hutter has been in custody since his arrest in December 2014. A sentencing date was not set.
According to plea documents filed in the case, Hutter worked as a youth minister at the South Garland Baptist Church. He used the Internet, his cell phone and e-mail, as well as person-to-person contact at youth group, to communicate with Jane Doe, a minor girl in his youth group. During these conversations, he convinced Jane Doe to have a sexual relationship with him. Hutter sexually assaulted Jane Doe on several occasions between January 1, 2014, through approximately September 15, 2014.
In addition, according to the filed factual resume, Hutter e-mailed Jane Doe and asked that she send him explicit and lewd photos of herself.
Hutter admitted that he knew Jane Doe was between age 13 and 14.
The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative, which 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 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 Sachse Police Department, the Garland Police Department and the FBI investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Camille Sparks is in charge of the prosecution.