A 51-year-old Frisco, Texas man has been found guilty of four counts of child exploitation violations in the Eastern District of Texas.
William Craig Whisman was found guilty by a jury of attempted coercion and enticement of a minor, possession of child pornography, receipt of child pornography and distribution of child pornography. The verdict was reached Friday afternoon, Feb. 9, 2018, following a five-day trial before U.S. District Judge Marcia Crone.
According to information presented in court, in November 2016, Whisman responded to an ad placed by an undercover FBI agent who was making a child available for sex. Whisman responded within hours of the ad being placed, stating a desire to meet and “play” with the child. Over the course of approximately 1 week, Whisman repeatedly messaged the undercover agent, stating his interest in engaging in illegal sex with the child. Whisman and the undercover agent discussed the child’s interests, her schooling, and the acts Whisman wanted to perform on the child. Ultimately, on Nov. 15, 2016, Whisman arrived at a Walmart located in Plano, Texas to meet the child and to attempt to persuade, induce, entice, and coerce the child into engaging in sex acts with him.
At the time of the arrest, Whisman was in possession of a gift for the child, as well as a cellular phone. Forensic analysis of the phone revealed the chats between Whisman and the undercover agent. Agents also located chats with a number of other individuals, in which Whisman knowingly received and distributed images and videos of child pornography, and discussed his interest in engaging in sex acts with children.
As part of the investigation, members of law enforcement also seized Whisman’s MacBook laptop computer from his residence. Evidence introduced at trial revealed more than 1,000 images of child pornography saved in user-created folders on the computer. Whisman was indicted by a federal grand jury on Dec. 16, 2016.
Under federal statutes, Whisman faces a minimum of 10 years and up to life in federal prison. The maximum statutory sentence prescribed by Congress is provided here for information purposes, as the sentencing will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office.
This case is being prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.<http://www.projectsafechildhood.gov.>
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Plano Police Department, and the Frisco Police Department. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Marisa Miller and Lesley Brooks.