Former Clay County Sheriff’s Deputy Charged With Online Enticement Of A Minor To Engage In Sexual Activity
(STL.News) – United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez announces the arrest and filing of a criminal complaint charging Travis Ryan Pritchard (36, Green Cove Springs) with online enticement of a minor and attempted online enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity. If convicted, Pritchard faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years, and up to a life, in federal prison.
According to the complaint, Pritchard was employed as a deputy with the Clay County Sheriff’s Office. At the time of the alleged offense, he was assigned to the DUI unit. From December 2019 through May 2, 2020, Pritchard used an online chat application to communicate with a 15-year-old girl with whom he had engaged in sexual activity on a weekly basis. Beginning on April 29, 2020, an undercover detective from the Green Cove Springs Police Department assumed the child’s identity and continued chatting with Pritchard using the online chat application. Late in the night of May 1, 2020, and into the early morning hours of the next day, Pritchard encouraged the “child” to sneak out of her home to meet with him for a “quickie.” In anticipation of their meeting, he sent the “child” a photograph of himself from the waist down, wearing only boxer shorts. At approximately 2:00 a.m. on May 2, 2020, Pritchard arrived near the child’s home to pick her up in his patrol vehicle, and sent the “child” a message saying, “I’m here.” A short time later, Pritchard was arrested by officers from the Green Cove Springs Police Department.
This case was investigated by the Green Cove Springs Police Department and Homeland Security Investigations. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kelly S. Karase.
It is another case brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims.