United States Attorney Richard W. Moore of the Southern District of Alabama announces that Garnett James Lloyd, Jr. age 48, of Morganton, North Carolina, was sentenced today after earlier pleading guilty to a count charging violation of 18 USC Section 2261A(2)(b), Cyberstalking.
As part of his plea agreement, Lloyd admitted that he posed on Facebook as a young female, Taylor Smiths. As Taylor Smiths, he contacted a girl from Mary G. Montgomery School whose mother had listed a formal dress for sale on Facebook Market place. The mother believed the contact to be suspicious and reported it to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The same day, another mother contacted the FBI concerned that her daughter had received a friend request from Taylor Smiths and that she was inquiring about a dress for sale. The mother gave the FBI permission to assume her daughter’s Facebook account.
The defendant contacted the undercover FBI agent and asked for pictures of the dresses for sale. This eventually progressed to Lloyd asking for specific poses in the dresses claiming that he was considering wearing them for a pageant. He then asked for certain voyeur type photos and offered to pay $700 for them. The undercover agent refused to send additional photos and Lloyd said he would contact her friends and family and “destroy her good girl status.” He later claimed that he had edited other pictures to simulate her topless and that he would send those pictures to her family. He also demanded that she respond only with “Yes, Master” or “No, Master.”FBI agents tracked the messages to Lloyd in Morganton, North Carolina.
At sentencing, Judge William H. Steele, noted that the defendant had a significant criminal history which was not captured in his sentencing guideline calculations. This included three convictions for sexual battery and one conviction for breaking and entering into a sorority house in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The Court also considered the arguments of the United States Attorney’s Office that the true nature of the charged crime reflected dangerous predatory behavior and that the defendant should be sentenced to the statutory maximum sentence and be required to register as a Sex Offender.
Most significantly, the Court heard the statements of the young victim in this case and her mother. The very accomplished young woman told the court that she was now afraid to practice her running events unless she was accompanied by coaches or friends. The mother stated that her daughter frequently had anxiety about attending public events and that the entire family was now extremely cautious of strangers. They both stated that they intended to be advocates for victims of these crimes and to spread the word for education of the dangers of the internet.
Judge Steele thanked the family for speaking and noted that they illustrated the ripple effect of these crimes as they impacted not only the intended victim but also her family, friends and coaches. After considering all the factors, Judge Steele found that a fair and just sentence required a sentence at the statutory maximum. He sentenced the defendant to 60 months imprisonment followed by three years of supervised release. He is also required to register as a sex offender.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office and AUSA Maria E. Murphy.