HOUSTON - A 39-year-old resident of New Caney has been taken into custody on federal charges of sexual exploitation of a child, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced.
Joshua James Holmstedt is accused of actively engaging in the sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of a minor female younger than five, according to the charges.
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He was taken into federal custody Tuesday and was temporarily ordered into custody, pending a probable cause and detention hearing set for Thursday.
According to the criminal complaint, Holmstedt engaged in conversations via a specific social media forum believed to be frequented by individuals who have a sexual interest in children. The service randomly pairs users in one-on-one sessions where they can chat anonymously.
Users type in search words and the forum pairs them with random strangers who typed in the same search words. Holmstedt allegedly saw a post that contained terms commonly associated with the sexual exploitation of children and responded to it.
During the course of the chats, Holmstedt allegedly claimed he was sexually active with a minor female and claimed he watched pornographic material with her.
Holmstedt later sent an image and four videos he claimed were of the minor, according to the charges. He also allegedly sent videos of other prepubescent children engaged in sexual acts and masturbation.
If convicted, Holmstedt faces a minimum of 15 and up to 30 years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine.
The FBI conducted the investigation with assistance of the Montgomery County Precinct 4 Constable’s Office.
For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the "resources" tab.
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