EUGENE, Ore.—A federal jury found David George Hopkins, 60, of San Diego, California, guilty today for traveling with the intent to engage in sex with a minor and other related charges.
“This case is another example of the extraordinary lengths some will go in an attempt to victimize children,” said Billy J. Williams, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon. “It is also an example of the dogged determination of federal law enforcement to intercept individuals who seek to victimize children. I hope this conviction will serve as a warning to would-be child predators who believe they can pursue minors online without consequences.”
“Today’s conviction started with one person who was so concerned that she reported her disturbing interactions with Mr. Hopkins to law enforcement. Her willingness to step forward was critical to our ability to protect children from this predator. I would ask anyone with such information in the future to contact the nearest FBI office or submit tips online at https://tips.fbi.gov,” said Renn Cannon, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon.
According to court documents and information shared at trial, on June 9, 2017, Hopkins traveled from San Diego to Portland, Oregon believing he would be able to have sex with a 13-year-old girl named Paula along with her mother, Norma, and her mother’s friend, Ana, with whom he had been chatting online. Unbeknownst to Hopkins, he had been chatting with an FBI Special Agent acting as both Norma and Paula, and with a person using the alias Ana.
Hopkins and Ana began chatting online in 2012, and during one of the conversations, Hopkins raised the topic of having sex with a minor female in Peru and sent Ana a photo of what was purportedly him receiving oral sex from a minor.
In February 2017, Hopkins again contacted Ana and they began communicating using Skype and Facebook. In their first few conversations after reconnecting, Hopkins disclosed more details about his sexual relations with a minor in Peru. He also claimed to have had similar illicit contact with a minor in Panama. Hopkins later wrote, “did it bother u i [sic] had sex with young girls?” Hopkins did not present his conduct as a fantasy and Ana did not believe it was.
Concerned by the information shared with her, Ana reported Hopkins to the Eugene Police Department who referred the matter to the FBI. In March 2017, Ana met with an FBI Special Agent and agreed to cooperate with an investigation of Hopkins.
Ana continued chatting with Hopkins and their conversations grew increasingly more detailed and graphic as Hopkins shared information about his claimed past sexual experiences with minors and his desire to continue such behavior. In one conversation, Ana mentioned her fictitious Peruvian friend Norma. Hopkins asked if they could all have sex together. Ana also mentioned that Norma had a daughter named Paula. Hopkins also expressed an interest in having sex with Paula.
Ana told Hopkins that Norma had agreed to let him have sex with Paula. Shortly thereafter, Hopkins began communicating directly with Norma, the FBI Special Agent. The conversation quickly turned sexual and they discussed Hopkins flying to Oregon. In subsequent conversations, Hopkins began asking Norma about having sex with Paula, and, later, began communicating online directly with Paula. Hopkins chatted with Paula about having sex with her, describing in detail what he wanted to do.
In June 2017, Hopkins flew from San Diego to Portland with intent to engage in sexual conduct with Paula. He was met and arrested by the FBI at Portland International Airport upon his arrival. Hopkins claims of abusing children have not been corroborated.
In an indictment returned on June 20, 2018, a federal grand jury in Eugene charged Hopkins with one count each of attempting to use a minor to produce a visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct, attempting to coerce or entice a minor, traveling with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct and transferring of obscene material to a minor.
Hopkins will be sentenced on May 23, 2019, by U.S. District Court Judge Michael J. McShane.
This case was investigated by the FBI with assistance from the Eugene Police Department. It was prosecuted by Amy Potter and Jeff Sweet, Assistant U.S. Attorneys for the District of Oregon.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.
Anyone who has information about the physical or online exploitation of children are encouraged to call the FBI at (503) 224-4181 or submit a tip online at https://tips.fbi.gov.