Info@NationalCyberSecurity
Info@NationalCyberSecurity

Ex-Ascension deputy pleads guilty to child porn | Courts | #childpredator | #kidsaftey | #childsaftey


Less than a year after he was released from prison following a 2019 molestation conviction, a former Ascension Parish deputy used an online dating app to prey on a Chalmette teenager, prosecutors said.

Todd Eric Tripp pleaded guilty Thursday to a felony indictment for receipt of child pornography.

U.S. Attorney Ronald Gathe Jr. announced the plea agreement in a news release Monday. According to Gathe, Tripp appeared before U.S. District Judge John deGravelles and acknowledged using an instant messaging app to obtain at least 15 images of minors engaged in explicit sex acts between March and October 2020.

Tripp lodged the guilty plea on his 35th birthday and was remanded back to the custody of federal marshals, court records show.

It was not the first time he’s been charged with sex offenses against underage victims. In December 2017, a state court convicted him of attempted child pornography and indecent behavior with a juvenile, charging documents show.

Tripp could face an enhanced sentence of 15 to 40 years if deGravelles qualifies that as a prior sex conviction. If not, federal sentencing guidelines call for a mandatory five-year prison stint and a max sentence of 20 years.

Tripp also faces up to $250,000 in fines for the offense and possibly lifetime probation after he’s released, court documents indicate. 

Tripp’s short career as an Ascension sheriff’s correctional officer at the parish jail ended after his arrest on the first child porn accusations in 2013. He was required to register as a child predator and sex offender after being released from prison on those charges in March 2019.

Yet according to a criminal complaint filed by FBI investigators in April, Tripp began communicating with a then-16-year-old teen who he met on a social media app in March 2020. Agents said he falsely identified himself as “Tyler Miller” and told the teen he was 26.

The victim said he too lied about his age, initially telling Tripp he was 18. But when he revealed his true age, Tripp responded that he “does not judge a person based on age, but on maturity” and told the victim he was “mature for his age,” the complaint indicates.

The two began communicating through texts, phone calls and video chats over the subsequent months, during which Tripp initiated in-person meets. Investigators determined Tripp sexually abused the teen on at least five different occasions between August and September 2020, during overnight visits to his Sorrento trailer home and hotel stays in Chalmette and New Orleans.

The victim’s mother reported the allegations to Ascension Parish deputies in September after discovering text chats on the teen’s phone, the documents say. She told officers the real identity of her son’s abuser was Tripp and he was a registered sex offender. 

Investigators tracked Tripp to a small town in Upcountry, South Carolina, where authorities arrested him in October 2020 and transported him back to Ascension Parish.

Tripp’s original federal indictment in May included charges of enticement of a minor, felony offense involving a minor by a registered sex offender, possession of child pornography and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of a minor by force, fraud or coercion. After he agreed to plead guilty in August, a new bill whittled those charges down to the single count of child possession.

No date was set for Tripp’s sentencing. DeGravelles ordered the U.S. Probation Office to do a pre-sentencing investigation before determining the ex-officer’s prison term, court records show.





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