Man Pleads Guilty To Federal Crimes In Sexual Abuse Of 3-Year-Old


TEXARKANA, Texas–A man who shared videos of himself sexually assaulting a 3-year-old pleaded guilty Tuesday to two counts of the sexual exploitation of a minor to produce child pornography in Texarkana federal court.

Billy Joe Truss, 33, is facing a minimum of 15 years at sentencing. He pleaded guilty Tuesday to two counts listed in a six-count indictment issued last year in the Eastern District of Texas. Truss was brought to the attention of the Hopkins County Sheriff’s Office through a “priority one” cybertip Aug. 15 from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, according to a criminal complaint unsealed this week in a Texarkana federal court.

A priority one referral means that there is “current or imminent risk to an individual” and, in this case, NCMEC was concerned that the files had been “recently produced or homemade” and the young girl pictured in the material was in serious danger.

The young child in the videos purportedly could be heard saying “owie,” in the videos while being sexually abused.

Hopkins County investigators quickly identified Truss as the suspect believed to have uploaded the disturbing content that included rape, forced penetration, sodomy and forced oral sexual activities. In one of the videos, the suspect’s face could be seen and a state child protective services caseworker who was familiar with Truss identified him from the clip. Other videos allegedly showed identifying marks including tattoos and unique jewelry, the complaint said.

According to digital information associated with the pornographic material, the files had been uploaded between January and August 2023 and had been created with a cell phone.

Just one day after receiving the tip, Hopkins County lawmen accompanied by officials in Franklin County, where Truss lived, went to his home. Truss was arrested in the front yard of his Franklin County residence and the alleged victim was found in the house and rescued along with a second child, according to the complaint.

Federal officials are seeking Truss’ forfeiture of a number of electronic devices he used to record himself abusing the child and upload the content to the internet. He will return to court in a few months for sentencing.

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