Jerry Bob Stewart, 50, of Twin Falls, pleaded guilty Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Boise to attempted coercion and enticement of a minor, Acting U.S. Attorney Rafael Gonzalez said.
According to the court documents, in July and August of 2015, Stewart communicated on-line with a ten-year-old girl living in California.
The girl told Stewart she was 19. Stewart proposed they engage in a father-daughter “fantasy” where the child was 14 years old. “The communications were sexual in nature, and were discovered by the child’s grandmother. A detective with the Nevada County, California Sheriff’s Office took over the child’s accounts, and began communicating directly with Stewart, posing as the child,” said U.S. Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Barbara Layman.
Between September and December of 2015, the detective repeatedly told Stewart that she was only 13 years old. “Stewart continued to express his desire to have sexual contact with the child, and sent sexually-explicit images to the child’s accounts. Stewart acknowledged the child’s age, stating ‘We can’t get in trouble,’ and ‘Let’s just say you are 18 or over … if anyone ask[s],’” Layman stated.
In November, 2015, Stewart agreed to pay for a bus ticket for the child to travel to Idaho so that he could have sexual contact her -- and mailed her an envelope containing $300 cash. On December 10, 2015, Stewart rented a room at a Twin Falls hotel under the child’s name, and traveled to a bus stop in Twin Falls to meet her, investigators said.
Agents with Homeland Security Investigations a box of condoms, two male sexual performance enhancement pills, and a bottle of lubricant in Stewart’s vehicle.
Stewart is scheduled to be sentenced November 28th before Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill.
Attempted coercion and enticement of a minor is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, a term of supervised release of not less than five years and up to life, and a $5,100 special assessment. As part of his plea, Stewart also agreed to forfeit his cell phone, tablet, and his portable wireless Internet device used in the crime.