Gerald Lee Farrell Jr., a 46-year-old former Eagle resident, pleaded guilty Monday in U.S. District Court to interstate travel with a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity and possessing sexually explicit images of minors, Idahos U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. The charges involve a 16-year-old German exchange student Farrell and his wife hosted more than a decade ago.
Farrell reportedly fled the allegations against him in January 2004, and he was indicted by a federal grand jury in Boise in September 2004. He was arrested in Spain in July 2013 and extradited to the United States in December.
According to the plea agreement, the exchange student started living with the Farrells in August 2003, and throughout the fall, Gerald Farrell sought various opportunities to observe the girl nude or partially nude and engaged her in conversations of a sexual nature.
In December 2003, Farrell took the girl to Nevada. One night, she woke up to find the defendant lying across her stomach and trying to remove her panties, but she was able to push him away, according to court documents.
The girl told others about Farrells conduct when they returned to Idaho, and Ada County Sheriffs Office deputies executed a search warrant at Farrells Eagle home in January 2004, seizing his computer and other items. Video files of minors (not the exchange student) engaging in sexually explicit conduct were found on the seized hard drive, according to the plea agreement.
Farrell and his wife fled Idaho for Switzerland approximately a week later, according to court documents.
Sentencing is set for May 27 at the federal courthouse in Boise. Interstate travel with a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity is punishable by five to 30 years in prison and a fine of up $250,000. Possession of sexually explicit images of minors is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Ada County Sheriffs Office.