Mammoth Lakes Man Sentenced to More Than 15 Years in Prison for Enticement of a Minor
SACRAMENTO, CA—Gene Wayne Harris, 42, of Mammoth Lakes, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Morrison C. England Jr. to 15 years, and eight months in prison, to be followed by a lifetime of supervised release, for attempted enticement of a minor, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
According to court documents, on March 1, 2013, a woman from Mammoth Lakes received an unsolicited Facebook friend request from Harris. Before accepting the request, she looked up Harris and learned that he was a registered sex offender, having previously been convicted in Inyo County of sexual battery. At law enforcement’s direction, she responded to Harris through Facebook and an Internet-based text messaging service, and told him that she was only 14 years old. Harris acknowledged the statement that she was 14, commenting that her Facebook post says she is older. Harris also told her he could get in trouble if anyone found out they were talking.
Law enforcement assumed control of the woman’s account. During this time, Harris’s communications turned sexual, including requests by Harris for sexually explicit pictures of her. Plans were made for a meeting and on March 8, 2013, Harris checked in to a Mammoth motel and waited for the purported 14-year-old girl to arrive. While waiting, Harris communicated through text with law enforcement (posing as the girl), texting at one point that he could “get in trouble for what I am about to do, but it is worth it.” Law enforcement sent Harris a text while he was at the motel asking him to get something to drink and a candy bar. Harris was arrested while walking back to the motel from a convenience store with the drink and candy bar. Located in the motel room were condoms and alcohol.
At sentencing, Judge England said that the sentence imposed would “serve to protect the public from future conduct” by the defendant, and “be a deterrent for others who engage in this type of conduct.”
This case was the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Mono County District Attorney’s Office, and the Mammoth Lakes Police Department. Assistance was also provided by the Mono County Sheriff’s Department. Assistant United States Attorney Kyle Reardon prosecuted the case.