(STL.News) – A Plano man has been convicted at trial of attempting to entice a 12-year-old girl at Sheppard Air Force Base, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox.
Following a day-long trial, a federal jury in Wichita Falls found Tzu Fan Chen, 54, guilty of one count of attempted enticement of a child. The jury deliberated for just six minutes to reach its verdict.
According to evidence presented at trial, on June 16, 2020, an Air Force Office of Special Investigations agent acting in an undercover capacity placed an online advertisement on a popular social media website entitled, “Daughter & I seeking new friends.”
Mr. Chen responded to the ad and stated he was interested in getting to know the undercover agent and his daughter. During communications with law enforcement, Mr. Chen arranged to have a sexual encounter with the 12-year-old girl in Wichita Falls. Mr. Chen also asked the agent if his daughter was “trained,” how she responded to sexual contact, and stated “we must hush hush about our lifestyle.”
On June 18, Mr. Chen drove from Plano to Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls with the intention of meeting a dad who was offering up his 12-year-old daughter for sex. When Mr. Chen arrived at the address provided by undercover officers, he was intercepted by law enforcement and taken into custody.
Mr. Chen now faces up to life in federal prison. His sentencing is set for February 12, 2021 before U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor in Wichita Falls.
This case was investigated by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brandie Wade and A. Saleem tried the case.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a Justice Department initiative designed to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse nationwide. The initiative pools 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.