Submitted by Oklahoma DOJ – A Sapulpa man who thought he was meeting a 14-year-old for sex but instead was met by deputies from the Rogers County Sheriff’s Office was sentenced today in federal court, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson.
U.S. District Judge Gregory K. Frizzell sentenced Nicholas Robert Hale, 36, to serve 15 years in federal prison followed by a lifetime of supervised release. Hale pleaded guilty to attempted coercion and enticement of a minor in April.
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners will identify, locate, and prosecute individuals, like Nicholas Hale, who seek to harm children,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson. “The Rogers County Sheriff’s Office and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Chris Nassar and Sandy Urban are to be commended for taking this child predator off the streets.”
In a written plea agreement, Hale admitted that from Nov. 9, 2020, to Dec. 22, 2020, he used a social media app to persuade and entice an individual he believed was a minor to engage in sexual activity. Hale believed he was interacting with a 14-year-old male but instead was communicating with an undercover officer from the Rogers County Sheriff’s Office. The two eventually agreed to meet at a convenience store in Verdigris in order to have sex. When Hale arrived, he was arrested and found to be in possession of methamphetamine, a loaded pistol in the front driver’s side door and an AR-15 rifle in the trunk of the car. During the investigation, child pornography, also known as child sexual abuse material, was discovered on Hale’s electronic devices.
The Rogers County Sheriff’s Office opened the investigation into Hale after they received a tip that Hale had tried to entice a minor living within the Northern District of Oklahoma.
The Rogers County Sheriff’s Office conducted the investigation with assistance from the Creek County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sandra M. Urban and Christopher J. Nassar prosecuted the case.
The case was a part of the Justice Department’s Project Safe Childhood initiative. Led by United States Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.