Former CCSO deputy sentenced to 35 years for sexually exploiting girlJACKSONVILLE – Travis Ryan Pritchard, a former deputy with the Clay County Sheriff’s Office’s DUI unit, was …
Former CCSO deputy sentenced to 35 years for sexually
JACKSONVILLE – Travis Ryan Pritchard, a former deputy with the Clay County Sheriff’s Office’s DUI unit, was sentenced to 35 years for enticing a Green Cove Springs girl to have sex.
U.S. District Judge Timothy J. Corrigan has sentenced Pritchard, 38, for producing an image of a 15-year-old child being sexually abused and one count of possessing an image of a prepubescent child being sexually abused. Pritchard was also ordered to serve a lifetime term of supervised release and to register as a sex offender. Pritchard had pleaded guilty on Oct. 21, 2020.
According to court documents, from December 2019 through May 2, 2020, Pritchard used a popular online chat application to communicate with a 15-year-old girl whom he had sexually abused on a weekly basis. On April 29, 2020, an undercover detective from the Green Cove Springs Police Department assumed the child’s online identity and continued chatting with Pritchard using the online chat app. 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 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 GCSPD.
Pritchard noticed the girl at a convenience store while he was waiting to pick up his son after school.
The girl told police that Pritchard began talking with her using a chat app on their phones and Pritchard asked her to send nude pictures of herself. He, in turn, sent pictures of himself. She told federal agents he knew she was only 15, but he started coming over to her house after her parents went to sleep to have sex with her on a weekly basis.
He often crept through her bedroom window or encouraged her to sneak out to meet with him for a “quickie,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. At one point he had messaged her for 63 consecutive days.
A forensic review of Pritchard’s cellular telephone revealed many conversations between the child and Pritchard, as well as an encrypted digital folder containing numerous visual depictions of child sexual abuse. This included an image of the sexual abuse of the girl produced at the direction of Pritchard, as well as an image of the rape of a prepubescent female child.
“All child sexual abuse is appalling, but when this crime is committed by someone in a position of trust, it is beyond comprehension,” said HSI Jacksonville Assistant Special Agent in Charge K. Jim Phillips. “Thanks to our HSI special agents and our local law enforcement partners, this perpetrator will no longer be in a position to harm children.”
“The Green Cove Springs Police Department is committed to serving our community and protecting our citizens against all evil, even when that evil comes hiding behind a badge,” said Commander John Guzman. “As a law enforcement officer, Mr. Pritchard betrayed those who trusted him the most and now he will have to pay for his crimes.”
This case was investigated by the Green Cove Springs Police Department and Homeland Security Investigations. It was prosecuted by Asst. U.S. Attorney Kelly S. Karase.
This 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. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.