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Plymouth man sentenced to 20 years for enticement of a minor

Toby Painter, 32, of Plymouth, North Carolina, was sentenced Tuesday, December 22 to 240 months in prison for enticement of a minor, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice, Eastern District of North Carolina.

According to court documents and statements made in court, on January 22, 2018, a school guidance counselor in West Carollton, Ohio discovered from another student that a 14-year-old girl had been communicating with and sending nude photos to an adult male, stated the release. The guidance counselor informed the victim’s mother, who contacted the West Carollton Police Department.

“On the victim’s phone, investigators found chat history with someone labeled as ‘daddy’ that included nude photographs of the victim,” stated the press release. “After the victim provided the name ‘Toby,’ law enforcement identified the defendant Toby Painter based on Facebook contacts and photos exchanged on the phone.

“During an interview, the victim stated that Painter sent her a friend request through SnapChat in December of 2017. After that, they began communicating on an internet-based chat application,” the release continued. “The victim told Painter she was 14, and he told her he was 29. After the conversation turned sexual, Painter asked her to send him nude photographs, and she took and sent him approximately 10 nude photos of herself. He responded by sending her sexually explicit photographs.”

Law enforcement reviewed the minor’s chat history with Painter. On her phone’s media drive, they recovered roughly a dozen images of the minor that constituted child pornography, as well as three sexually explicit images of Painter, according to the Department of Justice statement. Local investigators referred the case to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and that agency confirmed Painter’s identity based on Facebook account and IP address records. “Complete chat records confirmed that Painter had requested and received from the victim multiple images that constituted child pornography,” stated the release.

“This case is part of the Project Safe Childhood initiative, a national program aimed at ensuring that criminals exploiting children are effectively prosecuted by making full use of all available law enforcement resources at every level,” stated the press release. For more information about the initiative, visit  www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

Robert J. Higdon, Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge James C. Dever III. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and West Carollton Police Department (Ohio) investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jake D. Pugh prosecuted the case.

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