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Houston man sent to prison for coercion and enticement via Kik

HOUSTON – A 63-year-old Houston resident has been ordered to federal prison after attempting to obtain sexual images of a young boy, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.

Mark Wayne Cottrell pleaded guilty Dec. 12, 2019.

Today, U.S. District Judge Gray Miller ordered Cotrell to serve a total of 121 months in prison. He was further ordered to pay $3000 to a victim who’s image appeared in the child pornography found in Cottrell’s possession. He must also register as a sex offender and serve 15 years on supervised release following completion of his prison term, during which time he will have to comply with numerous requirements designed to restrict his access to children and the internet.

At the time of Cotrell’s plea, he admitted to engaging in conversations via the Kik application with an individual whom he believed had access to a 10-year-old boy. Cottrell had engaged in sexually-charged conversations and requested an image of the boy’s genitals. He also sent links that contained over 1000 image files and 300 video files of child pornography.

Cottrell admitted he discussed travelling to New York to meet with the fictious boy and to possessing child pornography on his phone. Authorities also found child pornographic images on a laptop in Cottrell’s possession.

He has been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

The FBI conducted the investigation.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Sherri L. Zack prosecuted the case, which was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC), a nationwide initiative the Department of Justice (DOJ) launched in May 2006 to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section leads PSC, which marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children and identifies and rescues victims. For more information about PSC, please visit DOJ’s PSC page. For more information about internet safety education, please visit the resources tab on that page.