LOS ANGELES– A British man who traveled to the Coachella Valley to have sex with pre-teen boys pleaded guilty today to transportation of child pornography and agreed to a 13-year prison sentence.
Paul Charles Wilkins, 70, of Littleport in East Cambridgeshire, England, a dual United States-United Kingdom citizen, was charged earlier this year in a four-count indictment for traveling with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct, attempted sex trafficking of children, transportation of child pornography, and possession of child pornography.
During the guilty plea hearing, Wilkins admitted that he traveled to the United States from the United Kingdom in January 2016 for the purpose of having sex with two brothers, 10 and 12 years old. Wilkins also admitted that in February 2016 he attempted to solicit a 9-year-old boy for anal intercourse in exchange for $250 at an apartment he had rented. In addition, Wilkins admitted he possessed child pornography on his computer and brought child pornography from the United Kingdom into the United States, including graphic sexual images of boys between the ages of 5 and 8 years old. Under the plea agreement filed in advance of Wilkins's guilty plea hearing, Wilkins agreed to a sentence of 13 years' imprisonment and a lifetime of supervised release.
“This defendant's conduct was extremely dangerous,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “He sought to have sex with another boy immediately after his original arrangements to have sex with the two pre-teen boys fell apart. It is critical, therefore, that today's guilty plea will keep defendant in prison for well-over a decade.”
Wilkins, who has been ordered held without bond, is currently scheduled to be sentenced before United States District Judge Dolly M. Gee on January 11, 2017.
“This defendant learned firsthand the fate that awaits predators who come to this country to sexually exploit our children,” said Joseph Macias, special agent in charge for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Los Angeles. “HSI special agents continue to work tirelessly to identify individuals who're engaged in this reprehensible practice and ensure they're held accountable for their actions. Above all, our collaborative efforts have prevented countless children from falling prey to these traveling pedophiles, who wrongly believe that purchasing an airline ticket and boarding a plane puts them out of the reach of the law.”
The investigation into Wilkins was conducted by special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Christina T. Shay.
USAO – California, Central Updated September 29, 2016
Central District of California DOJ / 16-231 / September 28, 2016