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American Airlines Executive Indicted On Attempted Sexual Activity With A Minor

September 15, 2015 - An American Airlines executive from Texas has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on a charge of attempted coercion and enticement of a minor to engage in illegal sexual activity. The one-count indictment named Ray Wickliffe Howland, 55, of Arlington, Texas, as the sole defendant.

According to the indictment, on or about June 25, 2015, Howland used facilities and means of interstate and foreign commerce, specifically a computer, an iPad, the Internet and the telephone, to knowingly attempt to persuade, induce, entice, and coerce a minor to engage in sexual activity.

Howland was arrested at a hotel in Moon Township, Pennsylvania in the sting operation. Since that time he has been held at the Allegheny County Jail in lieu of $150,000 bail ever since.

Howland allegedly sent emails to a detective who was posing as a 32-year-old mother with a 10-year-old daughter. Howland stated he was coming into town wanted to meet up to have sex, he was looking to meet 'a family or a couple of girls' for the encounter.' Howland was explicit in his emails and text messages the sexual acts he hoped to engage in.


After his arrested, Howland allegedly reported he had spoken with a man located in Texas who he claims sent him some pictures of his 12-year-old daughter and who had 'met with other people'.

The law provides for a maximum total sentence of life in prison, a fine of $750,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

This case was 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.

Assistant United States Attorney Jessica Lieber Smolar is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government. The Office of the Pennsylvania Attorney General and the Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case.



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