GREAT FALLS – A Great Falls man accused of inducing a minor girl in Pennsylvania to send him sexually explicit photographs of herself admitted to charges today, Acting U.S. Attorney Leif M. Johnson said.
Andrew Donovan Carter, 38, pleaded guilty to sexual exploitation of a child. Carter faces a mandatory minimum 25 years to 50 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and five years to a lifetime of supervised release.
Chief U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris presided. Chief Judge Morris set sentencing for Dec. 2. Carter was detained pending further proceedings.
The government alleged in court documents that in August 2020, a Pennsylvania law enforcement agency contacted Carter’s state probation officer regarding Carter using social media sites to engage in sexually explicit communications with a 14-year-old girl. The probation officer requested assistance from the Great Falls Police Department, which is a member of the Montana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICACTF). The girl told investigators that she met a boy she believed to be was 16 years old, communicated with him online and that he asked her to send him nude pictures of herself. The supposed 16-year-old boy was Carter. The girl took sexually explicit photographs of herself and sent them to Carter using a cell phone.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Cyndee L. Peterson is prosecuting the case, which was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, Great Falls Police Department and Montana Department of Corrections’ Probation and Parole.
This case was initiated under the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood initiative, which was launched in 2006 to combat the proliferation of technology-facilitated crimes involving the sexual exploitation of children. Through a network of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies and advocacy organizations, Project Safe Childhood attempts to protect children by investigating and prosecuting offenders involved in child sexual exploitation. It is implemented through partnerships including the Montana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. The ICAC Task Force Program was created to assist state and local law enforcement agencies by enhancing their investigative response to technology facilitated crimes against children.
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