Mammoth man sentenced for enticement of a minor

Gene Harris

Gene Harris

Mammoth Lakes Man Sentenced for enticement of a 14-year-old

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Gene Wayne Harris, 42, resident of Mammoth Lakes, California, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Morrison C. England, Jr. to 15 years, 8 months in prison, to be followed by a life time period of supervised release, for attempted enticement of a minor in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2422(b), United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

According to the plea agreement, on March 1, 2013, an 18-year-old girl from Mammoth Lakes received an unsolicited Facebook friend request from Harris. Before accepting the request, the girl looked up Harris and learned that he was a registered sex offender, having previously been convicted in Inyo County of sexual battery. At law enforcement’s direction, the girl responded to Harris through Facebook and an Internet-based text messaging service, and told him that she was only 14 years old. Harris acknowledged that the girl was 14, even commenting that her Facebook post says she is older. Harris also made comments during his initial online chats with the girl that he could get in trouble if anyone found out they were talking.

Law enforcement assumed control of the 18-year-old’s account. During this time, Harris’s communications with the girl turned sexual, including requests by Harris for her to take sexually explicit pictures of herself. Plans were made for Harris and the girl to meet in Mammoth or Bridgeport, and the girl asked Harris to bring alcohol and condoms.

On March 8, 2013, Harris checked in to a Mammoth motel and waited for the 14-year-old girl to arrive. While waiting, Harris communicated through text with law enforcement (posing as the girl), texting at one point that he could “get in trouble for what I am about to do, but it is worth it.” Law enforcement sent Harris a text while he was at the motel asking him to get something to drink and a candy bar. Harris was arrested while walking back to the motel from a convenience store with the drink and candy bar. Located in the motel room were condoms and alcohol.

At sentencing, Judge England stated that the defendant’s criminal history involving allegations of the sexual exploitation of at least three other minors “showed a pattern [of criminal behavior] that has continued [unabated] for over 12 years.”  Judge England went on to say that his sentence would “serve to protect the public from future conduct” by the defendant, and “be a deterrent for others who engage in this type of conduct.”

This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Mono County District Attorney’s Office, and the Mammoth Lakes Police Department. Assistance was also provided by the Mono County Sheriff’s Department. Assistant United States Attorney Kyle Reardon is prosecuting the case.

9 Responses to Mammoth man sentenced for enticement of a minor

  1. Concerned September 28, 2014 at 8:06 am #

    Sounds like a mental health issue to me. Oh well, lets just lock up the creep and worry about home again in 15yrs and some odd months!

    • mono county local September 29, 2014 at 9:00 am #

      sounds like a criminal to me, concerned – if it is, as you say, a mental health issue
      what exactly do you see as a solution? what would the “treatment” be? do you believe this individual should be left to prowl the streets and the internet while undergoing treatment? do you believe it is within the ability of this individual to choose to obey the laws concerning sex with minors?

      • Desert Tortoise September 29, 2014 at 12:00 pm #

        Yes, imprison the violator. But unless you have given him (or her) a life sentence we owe it to ourselves to do something in terms of treating the underlying problem while the prisoner is in custody so when the release date comes the prisoner is less likely to reoffend. Or we can release without treatment and expect another offence and another victim. Be hard headed or prevent a reoffence? It is a valid choice.

  2. Desert Tortoise September 26, 2014 at 12:52 pm #

    You know the tactics used by law enforcement are pretty much entrapment. The guy started out thinking he was talking to an 18 yo, which is perfectly legal. Then the LEOs pose a ficticious 14 yo as bait and he bites. It is no different to me than the police setting up a ficticious sale of stolen goods and offering them to someone with a previous theft conviction. That is considered to be entrapment. In one sense you really don’t like the guy, but the tactics used by law enforcement are entrapment in every sense of the word and that is prohibited by our Constitution.

    • Mark September 26, 2014 at 2:14 pm #

      He had his chance to bail when she told him she was 14.

      and if anyone needs to be caught by entrapment it’s a registered sex offender

    • Tourbillon September 26, 2014 at 8:26 pm #

      The guy is a creep. The deceptive entrapment of a creep is even creepier.

    • Tinner September 27, 2014 at 7:56 am #

      What you call entrapment I call keeping the honest people honest.

      • Desert Tortoise September 27, 2014 at 12:58 pm #

        It doesn’t matter the least what you call it. What matters is the US Constitution prohibits it. It is one thing to arrest and punish someone who committed a crime of their own volition. It is something quite different when law enforcement lures someone into committing a crime and is rightly prohibited by our Constitution. Don’t think you couldn’t be enticed to do something illegal under the right set of circumstances. No one is an angel, but that doesn’t give any government the right to lure people into breaking the law just to add another notch in their fat web belts.

  3. Tinner September 26, 2014 at 7:23 am #

    Two words: General Population


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