TULSA, Okla. – A man from Katy, Texas, entered a plea of guilty Wednesday to coercion and enticement of a minor, and travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct in federal court, announced U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson.
Lee Finch II, 48, appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark T. Steele and pleaded guilty to coercion and enticement of a minor, and travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct.
“Lee Finch II groomed the 14-year-old victim and traveled from Texas multiple times to engage in sexual activity with her. The U.S Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners with continue to marshal our resources to apprehend and prosecute child predators,” said U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson.
“Through his deplorable crimes, this defendant has proven to be a threat to his community,” said Robert Melton, Assistant Special Agent in Charge Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) Dallas’ Oklahoma and Texas Panhandle Division. “He pled guilty to sexually exploiting a vulnerable child on numerous occasions, stripping the victim’s innocence without regard for the adverse impact it would cause. HSI and our law enforcement partners will never relent in our efforts to stop the communities we live from becoming a proving ground for child predators.”
Finch admitted in his plea that he began grooming the victim when she was 12 years old and that between February 2018 and April 2018, he knowingly communicated with the victim, a then 14-year-old girl, multiple times and used text messages to discuss engaging in sexual activities and to coordinate in-person meetings to engage in sexual activity. He further admitted that he knew the true age of the victim; and that he traveled from his home in Katy, Texas, to Tulsa multiple times, where he met the victim and engaged in illicit sexual activities.
Finch faces a maximum of 15 years in federal prison. A date for sentencing has not been set. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. Federal sentences do not allow for parole or early release.
Finch has been and will remain in the custody of the U.S. Marshal Service pending sentencing.
The Tulsa Police Department and Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott Dunn is prosecuting the case.
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 coordinate 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.