Evans man gets 10 years on enticement charge

Monday, Jan. 9, 2012 1:53 PM
Last updated 7:21 PM
  • Follow Crime & courts



Bianca Cain Johnson
Staff Writer
E-mail | 706-823-3486

An Evans man has been sentenced to more than 10 years in federal prison and 20 years of supervised release for the attempted online enticement of a minor.

Ernest Harvey Shepherd, 58, was sentenced Friday to 10 years, 10 months in prison by U.S. District Court Judge Randal Hall, the U.S. attorney’s office said in a statement Monday. He is also required to register as a sex offender.

“This defendant admitted to engaging in inappropriate communications with a female child whom he believed to be 14 years old for the purpose of having illicit sexual conduct,” U.S. Attorney Edward J. Tarver said.

Investigators identified 25 other girls between ages 12 and 17 whom Shepherd had inappropriate communication with online.

Parents of a 16-year-old notified the Richmond County Sher­iff’s Office in May after they saw “questionable online communications” on Facebook between their daughter and Shepherd, who had met the teen while working as an official at swim meets.

Investigators for the FBI’s Cyber Crimes Child Exploitation Task Force began an undercover operation by posing online as a 14-year-old girl with a history of sexual interactions with older men, according to a criminal complaint filed in May.

During the communications, Shepherd admitted to having kissed a 13-to 14-year-old several years ago. In one conversation, he suggested “skinny-dipping and lunch” and offered to bring wine coolers. On
May 24, he messaged his intentions to take the girl to eat Mexican food and go to an Econo Lodge.

Shepherd was arrested May 27 after he arrived at a prearranged location to engage in sexual acts with the person he believed to be a 14-year-old girl, who was actually a law enforcement officer.

He pleaded guilty in August.

The arrest was the first under the newly created Cyber Crimes Child Exploitation Task Force, which consists of the sheriff’s offices in Richmond and Co­lum­bia counties, FBI and Geor­gia Bu­r­eau of Investigation and is designed to fight crimes against children and other cybercrimes.

Comments (16) Add comment
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David Parker
7923
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David Parker 01/09/12 - 03:17 pm
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Amen it's federal. He'll

Amen it's federal. He'll serve it in full.

Craig Spinks
818
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Craig Spinks 01/09/12 - 03:37 pm
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THANKS, Judge Hall and U.S.

THANKS, Judge Hall and U.S. Attorney Tarver.

happychimer
21981
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happychimer 01/09/12 - 03:45 pm
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Thanks Judge Hall and Ed

Thanks Judge Hall and Ed Tarver.

augusta citizen
10683
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augusta citizen 01/09/12 - 03:58 pm
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Yes thanks!!

Yes thanks!!

RoadkiII
6830
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RoadkiII 01/09/12 - 04:05 pm
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Finally, something we can all

Finally, something we can all agree on.

happychimer
21981
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happychimer 01/09/12 - 04:13 pm
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Well looka here! President

Well looka here! President Barack Obama nominated Mr. Tarver as United States Attorney, Southern District of Georgia, on September 17, 2009. On November 10, 2009, following unanimous consent of the United States Senate, Mr. Tarver was appointed by President Obama. He was sworn in as U. S. Attorney on November 12, 2009.

RoadkiII
6830
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RoadkiII 01/09/12 - 04:30 pm
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But I thought Republicans

But I thought Republicans were blocking all of his choices?!?!?! I'm getting confused again.

happychimer
21981
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happychimer 01/09/12 - 04:41 pm
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Roadkill you love to argue.

Roadkill you love to argue. It don't work with me. Now you have a nice day, ya hear?

burninater
10857
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burninater 01/09/12 - 05:01 pm
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Roadkill, they're just

Roadkill, they're just blocking the one's that aren't pedophiles ...

raul
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raul 01/09/12 - 05:45 pm
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I feel for his family. Too

I feel for his family. Too bad he didn't think about that when he was committing these crimes.

kumgsa28
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kumgsa28 01/09/12 - 05:56 pm
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tvveedie, Federal Sentences

tvveedie, Federal Sentences handed down by a judge currently require an 85% serve time. Word is that it could be reduced to 65% due to overcrowding. Sentence seems by the book but alot since there wasn't a victim (alleged 25 but no names and no other charges), just an FBI agent on a computer talking dirty.

secretagentman
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secretagentman 01/09/12 - 06:40 pm
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no-- the 25 are for real--

no-- the 25 are for real-- the one they caught him on was the online FBI agent and he did show up to "meet" this "14" yr old.
I know for a fact , first hand,he harassed and inappropriately contacted many teen girls in the swimming community. Most of them just thought he was a creep but for a few, he really made them uncomfortable and scared.

corgimom
45081
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corgimom 01/09/12 - 06:43 pm
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He's a walking, talking

He's a walking, talking loser.

My question is, how many girls was he successful with?

My guess is that he's had many victirms.

"I am a terrible person, preying on young girls like u. a dirty old man. I hv corrupted u!"

Ugh. Just reading that makes you want to take a shower to wash off the slime.

carcraft
32219
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carcraft 01/10/12 - 03:53 am
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Happychimer-Even a blind

Happychimer-Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn once in a while!

stillamazed
1489
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stillamazed 01/10/12 - 10:12 am
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He is a Sicko.....but these

He is a Sicko.....but these young girls need to stay off line chatting with these men before they get hurt or worse, these men are not chatting alone.

secretagentman
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secretagentman 01/11/12 - 06:55 pm
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These girls werent chatting

These girls werent chatting online necessarily AT ALL. This well liked family man pretended to be a concerned, on the up & up, fellow parent/swim official--Oh, he chatted the parents up too -- all under the premise of swim possibilities in college etc--then he sends private messages on FB to start the conversation with the teen --nothing illegal in the case I know firsthand. The one Ive personally seen was something along the lines of a compliment,not explicit at all, but definitely set off the parent's warning system--( you're very attractive) and that teen immediately told parents who instructed her to never make eye contact, speak,interact etc with him again. But it completely stopped there when he got no response.So the parents just kept watch but didnt believe that was actually reportable. No one knew of any illegal act he had committed, but MANY thought he was a creep. What many people DONT realize was that was enough to actually bring the police in and let them start monitoring. Evidently, thats what the parents of the Rich Co girl did.And from there, they snagged him.

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