From US Attorney John Bales
A 39-year-old former Hopkins County, Texas school teacher has been sentenced to federal prison for child exploitation violations in the Eastern District of Texas.
Lucas Hill pleaded guilty on Feb. 20, 2016, to coercion or enticement of a minor and was sentenced to 405 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant on Aug. 19, 2016.
According to information presented in court, in early 2015, an investigator in Louisiana received a complaint from a family who discovered that someone had used photographs of their family, and particularly photographs of their teenaged son, to create a Facebook account as “Aaron Cage.” The investigation revealed the account user was accessing the account from Hill’s residence in Sulphur Springs, Texas. At the time, Hill was a teacher with Cumby Independent School District. It was determined that Hill created the fictitious Facebook page to pose as a teenage boy and from October 2013 through 2015, used the Facebook page to contact numerous minor females and persuaded them to engage in sexually explicit conduct, including producing images and videos of themselves engaged in sexual activity. Hill was indicted by a federal grand jury on July 15, 2015.
This case was 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 visitwww.projectsafechildhood.gov.<http://www.projectsafechildhood.gov.>
This case was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service, Hopkins County Sheriff’s Office, Sulphur Springs Police Department and Hopkins County District Attorney’s Office and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Marisa Miller.