Fort Lauderdale man pleads guilty to sexually abusing teen
Bobby Minnis, 45, of Fort Lauderdale pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Paul C. Huck at the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Florida. According to information presented at the plea hearing, Minnis flew from Fort Lauderdale , Fla. , in 2005 to Texas to meet a 14-year-old minor and traveled by car back to Fort Lauderdale with the minor. Once he was back in Florida , Minnis admitted he engaged in sexual acts with the minor. Minnis also admitted he used the Internet to communicate with the minor prior to traveling to Texas and misrepresented his identity in an effort to persuade the minor to travel with him and engage in sexual conduct.
According to the FBI children, especially adolescents, are sometimes interested in and curious about sexuality and sexually explicit material. They may be moving away from the total control of parents and seeking to establish new relationships outside their family. Because they may be curious, children/adolescents sometimes use their on-line access to actively seek out such materials and individuals. Sex offenders targeting children will use and exploit these characteristics and needs. Some adolescent children may also be attracted to and lured by on-line offenders closer to their age who, although not technically child molesters, may be dangerous. Nevertheless, they have been seduced and manipulated by a clever offender and do not fully understand or recognize the potential danger of these contacts.
http://www.NetSmartz.org is an Internet safety resource from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America that uses the latest technology to create high-impact educational activities for even the most tech-savvy kids of any age group.
The goal of NetSmartz is to extend the safety awareness of children and empower them to make responsible decisions online and in real life.
Minnis’s sentencing has been scheduled for Oct. 23, 2008. At sentencing, Minnis will face a maximum of 30 years in prison, a lifetime of supervised release following his release from prison and a $250,000 fine.
In a prior Florida state prosecution on related charges involving the same minor, Minnis was convicted on five counts of lewd or lascivious battery and one count of interference with custody of a minor, for which he was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Minnis was also convicted of attempted murder for hire because he attempted to have the minor killed prior to the state trial in hopes of preventing a trial for the sexual abuse charges.
Minnis cooked up the murder for hire scheme while in jail awaiting battery charges. He asked an inmate to give him a hitman’s name, but the inmate told authorities instead. When Minnis arranged to meet the hitman, it turned out to be a Fort Lauderdale police detective.
The detective taped two conversations with Minnis, who gave the detective information about the boy including, his name, his home address, and even the route the boy took to a nearby mall. Minnis had offered to pay between $10,000 and $12,000 to the detective.
Minnis was sentenced to five years in prison for the attempted murder for hire charge, which will run consecutive to the 15 years he received for lewd or lascivious battery and interference with custody of a minor. Minnis was already serving his prison sentence on the state conviction prior to today’s federal conviction.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida Robin Waugh-Farretta and Trial Attorney Alecia Riewerts of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS). The investigation was handled by the FBI, the Fort Lauderdale Police Department and the High Tech Investigative Unit of CEOS.