Crime

Hazelton man sent to prison for sex crimes

William Clarence Brower, 51, will spend nine years in prison after sentencing Wednesday for sending explicit photos to young girls in two states.

Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill also sentenced Brower to 10 years of supervised release.

Brower pleaded guilty in November to two counts of transfer and attempted transfer of obscene material to a minor, and one count of possession and access with intent to view sexually explicit images of minors.

The Massachusetts State Police opened an investigation in February 2014 after Brower sent photos of an erect penis to a 10-year-old girl in that state. The exchange with the girl on the Kik chat app featured a profile photo taken when the girl was 8.

The girl’s mother had set up the computer program so that she received a copy of any messages to her daughter’s account. She notified police.

A Massachusetts State Police sergeant chatted online with Brower, whose user name was “Little_soldier_boy.” The trooper made it clear “she” was 10 years old.

“I don’t mind that you are so young,” Brower replied, following up with sexually explicit comments.

During one of their conversations, Brower sent a 20-second video that depicted sexually explicit activity.

The Idaho Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force was asked to assist after it was determined the suspect lived in Idaho.

After learning he was communicating with a 10-year-old, Brower continued to sent similar photos and made sexual comments directed at the child.

Meanwhile, sheriff’s deputies in Maricopa County, Ariz., received a complaint from a family that their 13-year-old daughter had likewise received explicit photos from a man through Kik.

Their investigation also led to Brower.

Brower, a registered sex offender, was previously convicted of felony indecent exposure in 2008 in Twin Falls County.

Idaho ICAC investigators obtained a search warrant and in February 2014 found more than 24,000 images with sexual content on his cell phone. The photos included images depicting child pornography, child erotica, numerous images of a man exposing his penis, as well as non-pornographic images of young girls that appeared to have been downloaded through a social media application or website.

Brower admitted using his phone to send hundreds of sexually explicit photos of himself to random people, most of whom he said he knew were under age 18.

The case was investigated by the Idaho Attorney General’s Office, Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, the Boise Police Department, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department, the Department of State Police of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Jerome County Sheriff’s Department.

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