Grand Jury Indicts Six For Allegedly Using Internet To Target Teens For Sex
A Harris County grand jury today indicted six defendants who used the Internet to target underage teens for sex.
The indictments stem from an undercover investigation by the Texas Attorney General’s Cyber Crimes Unit and the Houston Metro Internet Crimes Against Children affiliate.
Harris County District Attorney Pat Lykos’ office will prosecute the cases.
Omair Ahmed Khan, 26, of Houston; Travis Dale Chapman, 29, of Huntington Beach, Va.; Joshua Clayton, 28, of Cypress; James Raymond Watters, 26, of Houston; Michael Alan Blazek, 31, of Ennis; and Michael Leo Sadler, 53, of Spring, were arrested in May during the joint undercover operation.
Cyber Crimes Unit and ICAC investigators assumed online identities that made them appear to be young teenage children.
“All six defendants are charged with using the Internet to prey upon children,” Attorney General Greg Abbott said. “Today’s indictments reflect cooperative law enforcement efforts by the Houston ICAC task force, the Harris County District Attorney’s Office and the Cyber Crimes Unit. The Cyber Crimes Unit will continue working to protect young Texans from online predators.”
Khan, who indicated he is a community college student, was indicted on two counts of online solicitation of a minor, a third-degree felony. Investigators arrested him May 18 after he arrived at a Houston location where he planned to meet and sexually assault someone he believed to be a 15-year-old girl he met in an Internet chat room.
Investigators arrested Chapman May 20 after he arrived at a Houston apartment complex to meet and sexually assault someone he believed to be a 13-year-old girl he had met online. Chapman faces a two-count indictment for online solicitation of a minor.
On May 21, Clayton was arrested after arriving at a pre-arranged location to meet and sexually assault someone he believed to be a 13-year-old girl. According to investigators, Clayton claimed to be a photographer and offered to take illicit photographs of the teen during their meeting.
He was indicted on two counts of online solicitation of a minor, both second-degree felonies.
Watters, a movie theater employee, was arrested May 26 after he arrived at a north Harris County location to meet and sexually assault someone he believed to be a 15-year-old girl he met online.
During online chats with the “girl,” investigators allege Watters used a Web camera to share illicit images of himself. Watters was indicted on two counts of online solicitation of a minor.
Blazek faces two counts of online solicitation of a minor after he chatted with an undercover officer posing as a 14-year-old girl. Although Blazek did not actually travel to meet with the online minor, Texas law makes it a felony to “knowingly solicit” a minor for sex.
State law also explicitly prohibits offenders from defending charges against them by arguing that no meeting actually occurred. Blazek was already was in custody in Tarrant County Jail for online solicitation of a minor by the Fort Worth Police Department.
The grand jury indicted Sadler on one count of possessing child pornography. Investigators arrested Sadler May 28.
Second-degree felonies are punishable by up to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
Third-degree felonies carry possible punishment of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.