Wisconsin Woman Remains in Federal Custody on Complaint Alleging She Transported a Minor Child to Another State to Engage in Sexual Activity
DALLAS—A Janesville, Wisconsin woman, Jennifer Lynn Dougherty, remains in federal custody on a federal criminal complaint alleging she transported a minor child from Texas to Wisconsin to engage in sexual activity, announced U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.
A detention hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, September 23, at 2:00 p.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul D. Stickney.
According to the affidavit filed with the criminal complaint, after being notified early last week of a missing minor child by the child’s parents, the Garland Police Department contacted the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and entered the victim into the database as a missing juvenile. A review of the minor child’s X-Box 360 gaming system by detectives with the Garland Police Department revealed recent chat communications, sexual in nature, with a particular user, later identified as Dougherty.
On Wednesday, September 16, 2015, officers with the Dallas Police Department assigned to the Dallas Love Field airport, contacted NCIC advising they had located an individual matching the child’s description, in the company of an adult female, at the airport. Upon receipt of this information, officers with the Garland Police Department went to the Dallas Love Field airport and retrieved the missing child and adult female.
The investigation revealed Dougherty and the minor child met while playing online games. On September 12, 2015, Dougherty allegedly traveled from Wisconsin to Texas, picked up the minor child, and transported the child to Wisconsin, where she sexually assaulted the child.
A federal complaint is a written statement of the essential facts of the offenses charged and must be made under oath before a magistrate judge. A defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. The maximum statutory penalty for the offense as charged is not less than 10 years or up to life in federal prison, a $250,000 fine and a lifetime of supervised release.
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 FBI and the Garland Police Department are investigating. Assistant U.S. Attorney Camille Sparks is in charge of the prosecution.