DALLAS — A woman who pleaded guilty to federal offenses stemming from her taking a minor child, whom she met during online gaming, from Texas to Wisconsin, where she sexually assaulted him, was sentenced today to a lengthy federal prison sentence, announced U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.
Jennifer Lynn Dougherty, 34, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade to serve a total of 120 months in federal prison. Dougherty pleaded guilty in December 2015 to an indictment charging two counts of traveling in interstate commerce – from Wisconsin to Texas – with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity. She also pleaded guilty to one count of transportation of a minor in interstate commerce – from Texas to Wisconsin – with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity. She has been in custody since her arrest in September 2015 on a related federal criminal complaint.
According to the affidavit filed with that complaint, after being notified of a missing minor child by the child’s parents, the Garland Police Department contacted the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and entered the victim into the database as a missing juvenile. A review of the minor child’s X-Box 360 gaming system by detectives with the Garland Police Department revealed recent chat communications, sexual in nature, with a particular user, later identified as Dougherty.
On Wednesday, September 16, 2015, officers with the Dallas Police Department assigned to the Dallas Love Field airport, contacted NCIC advising they had located an individual matching the child’s description, in the company of an adult female, at the airport. Upon receipt of this information, officers with the Garland Police Department went to the Dallas Love Field airport and retrieved the missing child and adult female.
The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative, which was launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice, to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals, who sexually exploit children, and identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/. For more information about internet safety education, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/ and click on the tab “resources.”
The FBI and the Garland Police Department investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Camille Sparks was in charge of the prosecution.