Enticement gets Church Hill man 20 years
CENTREVILLE — A Church Hill man was sentenced Thursday, May 18, to 20 years in prison to be followed by a lifetime term of supervised release for enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity and attempting to transfer obscene materials to a minor, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and Acting U.S. Attorney Benjamin G. Greenberg of the Southern District of Florida in a statement.
Lee Robert Moore, 38, pleaded guilty March 1 before U.S. District Judge Daniel T. K. Hurley of the Southern District of Florida. Moore was a U.S. Secret Service agent assigned to the White House at the time of his arrest on Nov. 9, 2015; he has remained in custody since that time. Moore was terminated from his Secret Service position in December 2015.
According to admissions made in connection with his plea, Moore maintained a profile on the social media application “Meet24,” which provides a mobile-based platform for exchanging digital images, as well as voice and text messages. Delaware State Police Detectives with the Delaware Child Predator Task Force created a profile on this site, posing as a 14-year-old girl, with whom Moore engaged in a number of online chat sessions, via the “Meet24” and “Kik” mobile apps over a twomonth period, including while Moore was at work.
Moore, using the screen name “Rob,” called the person he thought was a teenage girl, “cutie,” asked what clothes she liked to wear and sent her a picture of himself, police said.
According to charging documents from the Delaware Department of Justice and the criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court for Delaware, the undercover officer told “Rob” his 14-year- old girl persona lived with her mom and was still in school.
“Moore soon moved the chats sexual. He stated he wanted to travel to Delaware and meet in person for sex,” wrote Det. Kevin R. McKay in an affidavit. “Moore made it clear that he knew I was a 14 yr old girl. For example he would ask what clothes I was wearing to school and he expressed concern that this could be a police operation.”
The federal complaint filed by Patrick M. McCall, special agent with Homeland Security Investigations, provides a detailed account of alleged conversations, including references to masturbation, intercourse, orgasms and oral sex.
On Sept. 24, 2015, a female undercover trooper took over the girl’s role and chatted with “Rob N/A” on “Kik”; in response to his request for a video, she sent one of herself holding a cat near her face, McCall wrote.
According to charging documents, the two continued to chat, exchanged photos, and on Sept. 28, sexual contact was discussed again.
On Oct. 6, 2015, “Rob N/A” sent a photo of his exposed privates and tried to get the girl to send pictures of herself in her panties and talked about meeting for sex, police said. According to charging documents, a number of the online conversations took place while Moore was at work at the White House.
On Nov. 6, 2015, the Secret Service told Moore he was being placed on administrative leave effective Nov. 7, and confiscated his gun and badge, McCall wrote. Officials told Moore to report to the Maryland State Police Centreville Barracks first thing Monday morning, Nov. 9, where he was questioned by investigators from Delaware and taken into custody.
A number of the online chats between Moore and the undercover officers posing as a female minor were sexual in nature and, on several occasions, Moore sent pictures of himself, including one sexually explicit image, prosecutors said.
Moore was charged in federal court in Delaware with transfer of obscene materials to a minor.
After his arrest, police discovered Moore had communicated with a minor in Florida. Moore admitted that in those communications, he sent sexually explicit images of himself and enticed the minor to send sexually explicit photos of herself as well. Moore engaged in the same type of behavior with a 14-year-old girl in Texas and another 17-year-old girl in Missouri, prosecutors said.
In the Florida federal case, Moore was indicted in June 2016 with charges of production or attempted production of child pornography, attempted receipt of child pornography and use of a computer to persuade, induce, entice or coerce a minor to engage in a sex act.
Moore requested that his federal charges in Delaware be transferred to the Southern District of Florida so that he could plead guilty to both charges at one time.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and the Delaware Child Predator Task Force investigated the case. Trial Attorney Austin M. Berry of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) and Assistant U.S. Attorney Corey Steinberg of the Southern District of Florida prosecuted the case.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice.
LEE ROBERT MOORE