Woman arrested for offering children for sex


by Associated Press


Posted on August 15, 2009 at 4:49 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 16 at 4:15 PM

HOUSTON - A suburban Houston woman accused of offering to let a Missouri man have sex with three young children has been arrested on child pornography charges.

The 33-year-old Katy woman is charged with one count of possession of child pornography and one count of performance of a child. Bail on each charge was set at $50,000.

She is scheduled to be arraigned Friday. Jail records did not show an attorney listed for her and there was no answer at a phone number listed for her address.

She was arrested Wednesday after federal agents in Independence, Mo., learned she had made arrangements over the Internet for Michael Stratton to visit Texas and engage in sex acts with the children, investigators said.

Authorities identified the children as the woman's 11-year-old son, 5-year-old nephew and 2-year-old niece. The Associated Press is not identifying the women to avoid identifying the children.

Stratton, who had been arrested in a separate investigation in Missouri, gave information about the woman to federal agents. Investigators searched Stratton's computer and recovered copies of his Internet chats with the woman.

The information led investigators from the Houston Metro Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force to obtain a search warrant that was served on the woman's home Aug. 22, said Harris County Assistant District Attorney Donna Hawkins.

During the search of the home, investigators found several computers containing numerous images of children under 18 engaging in sexual intercourse, Hawkins said.

Task force commander Matthew Gray wrote in an affidavit that he used Stratton's Yahoo account to chat with the woman on Aug. 18, and asked her to send him child pornography, the Houston Chronicle reported in its online editions Thursday.

"The suspect admitted . . . that she had discussed the sexual acts that Michael Stratton would commit against (the children) and making the arrangements for Michael Stratton to meet her the week of Aug. 20, 2008," Gray wrote in his affidavit.

A spokeswoman for Texas Child Protective Services said the agency has not taken custody of any children involved. CPS caseworkers have made sure the children are safe, while the agency conducts an investigation, said Gwen Carter.

This is the second case in less than a week involving a Texas parent charged with offering their child for sex. Last week, a 25-year-old San Antonio mother and her married boyfriend were charged with trying to prostitute the woman's 5-year-old daughter.