Travis M. Butler, of Pensacola, was sentenced Friday to life imprisonment on federal charges of enticing a minor for sexual activity and producing child pornography. Butler pled guilty to the charges during a pretrial conference just two days before his federal jury trial was due to begin.
Lawrence Keefe, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, announced the sentence.
“Butler is a sexual predator who has repeatedly victimized underage girls for his own purposes,” said U.S. Attorney Keefe. “He has inflicted harm on far too many girls, but his trail of devastated young lives will come to an end behind bars.”
In September 2019, law enforcement officers with the Pensacola Police Department received information from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that Butler, 47, and a minor female from the local area were engaged in illicit communications and activity via Facebook Messenger.
Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Pensacola Police Department were able to geo-locate Butler’s criminal activity to Pensacola.
This led law enforcement to obtain search warrants for Butler’s social media accounts, which produced troves of evidence displaying his sexual acts with the minor and his request for her to produce child pornography for his pleasure.
Butler spent the summer of 2019 meeting and engaging in sexual acts with the minor victim, unbeknownst to her family. Social media account communications revealed that Butler hoped to continue their sexual relationship and even bring in a third party for group sex involving the minor.
Butler was arrested by HSI, with the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, in November 2019.
“The horrible crimes against this child cannot be undone, but we hope this sentencing is another step in the healing process for his victim,” said HSI Jacksonville Assistant Special Agent in Charge K. Jim Phillips. “We are proud to be one of the law enforcement partners making our local communities safer through the North Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.”
Butler is a registered sex offender based on prior state of Florida convictions, in 2006, for lewd and lascivious battery and contributing to the delinquency of a child by impregnating (under 16).
At the sentencing hearing in that case, it was revealed that the victim was actually the third minor female with whom Butler had engaged in sexual acts. In each of his two prior instances of sexual activity, Butler impregnated the minors.
The case was investigated by United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations, the Pensacola Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the North Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys David L. Goldberg and Meredith L. Steer.