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PRESS RELEASE: Local Man, Dennis Ray Frank, Who Engaged in Sexually Explicit Conversations on Facebook Sent to Prison

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Texas
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 10, 2016

Local Man Who Engaged in Sexually Explicit Conversations on Facebook Sent to Prison

McALLEN, Texas – A 61-year-old man has been ordered to prison following his conviction of one count of receipt of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Dennis Ray Frank, of Edcouch, admitted he engaged in inappropriate conversations with a minor female and received a sexually graphic image via email on Nov. 30, 2015.

Today, U.S. District Judge Randy Crane took into consideration the familial relationship and position of trust that Frank held over the minor and handed the defendant a sentence of 156 months in federal prison. Additional information was also presented today, including testimony from an FBI special agent who was able to describe the graphic nature of the sexually explicit conversations involved. Through the use of the Facebook messaging system, Frank chatted with the minor victim for more than two months and discussed topics which included the performance of sexual acts. The Facebook chat messages eventually escalated to discussions regarding plans to have sex with the minor victim during a visit to the Nudist Resort where Frank resided. Testimony also established that Frank engaged the minor victim on web-camera devices in which, on one particular occasion, the defendant masturbated within view of the camera.

Frank was further ordered to pay restitution to the victim in the amount of $2,520 for counseling services and will serve the remainder of his life on supervised release following completion of his prison term. During that time, he will have to comply with numerous requirements designed to restrict his access to children and the Internet. He will also be ordered to register as a sex offender.

On Feb. 7, 2013, FBI agents received information from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that indicated a young female could be a potential victim of sexual exploitation. Law enforcement soon uncovered the fact that Frank had engaged the minor female child in sexually explicit conversations on Facebook. Upon further investigation, it was determined that Frank had enticed the minor female child to send sexually graphic images of her genitalia to him via email.

Law enforcement executed a search warrant on Frank’s email account, at which time they discovered the image that depicted the minor child’s genitalia. Frank admitted to receiving the child pornography image via his email account on Nov. 5, 2012. He further admitted he had been engaging in those inappropriate conversations and that the young girl had sent him the image.

Frank will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

The charges are the result of an investigation conducted by the FBI.

This case, prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alex Benavides and Kimberly Ann Leo, 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. 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.

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