U.S. Attorney's Office
Western District of Pennsylvania
September 14, 2015

Airline Executive Charged with Attempting to Arrange Sex with a Minor

PITTSBURGH—An American Airlines executive from Texas has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on a charge of attempted coercion and enticement of a minor to engage in illegal sexual activity, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

The one-count indictment named Ray Wickliffe Howland, 55, of Arlington, Texas, as the sole defendant.

According to the indictment, on or about June 25, 2015, Howland used facilities and means of interstate and foreign commerce, specifically a computer, an iPad, the Internet and the telephone, to knowingly attempt to persuade, induce, entice, and coerce a minor to engage in sexual activity.

The law provides for a maximum total sentence of life in prison, a fine of $750,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Jessica Lieber Smolar is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Office of the Pennsylvania Attorney General and the Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case.

An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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 the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.

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