Former Eagle Resident Sentenced to 96 Months in Prison for Child Sexual Exploitation Offenses
BOISE—Gerald Lee Farrell, Jr., 47, formerly of Eagle, Idaho, was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Boise to 96 months in prison on charges of interstate travel with a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity and possessing sexually explicit images of minors, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill also ordered Farrell to serve 15 years of supervised release.
Farrell was indicted by a federal grand jury in October 2004. He had been a fugitive since January 2004. He was arrested in Spain in July 2013 and extradited to the United States in December 2013. Farrell pleaded guilty to the charges on March 17, 2014.
According to the plea agreement, Farrell and his wife became a host family for a 16-year-old German female exchange student in August 2003. The plea agreement further states that throughout the fall of 2003, the defendant sought various opportunities to observe the girl nude or partially nude and that he engaged her in conversations of a sexual nature. At the sentencing hearing, the United States introduced evidence that the defendant installed hidden cameras in the girl’s bedroom and a bathroom that she used, which captured video of her changing her clothes and going into and coming out of the shower. The plea agreement states that in December 2003, Farrell took the girl to Nevada. One night, she woke up to find the defendant lying across her stomach and trying to remove her panties. The girl was able to push the defendant away. The girl told others about Farrell’s conduct when they returned to Idaho. Ada County Sheriff’s Office deputies executed a search warrant at Farrell’s Eagle home on January 4, 2004, and seized his computers and other items. Farrell and his wife fled Idaho for Switzerland approximately a week later. According to the plea agreement, a forensic computer examiner found video files of children under 18 engaging in sexually explicit conduct on Farrell’s seized computer hard drive. These images were of minors other than the foreign exchange student.
“This defendant preyed upon a vulnerable foreign exchange student, new to this country, who did not speak English as her first language,” said Olson. “The sentence imposed by this Court, some ten years after Mr. Farrell committed his crimes and fled Idaho for Switzerland, should send a clear message that perpetrators of these crimes cannot run and cannot hide. They will be caught, prosecuted and punished. FBI Special Agent Mary Martin and many detectives from the Ada County Sheriff’s Office worked long and hard to bring Mr. Farrell to justice. I commend their work. I also thank the representatives from the foreign exchange student program for their cooperativeness and persistence as well.”
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Ada County Sheriff’s Office.