A Tennessee man, who is a registered sex offender, has been sentenced in federal court for using the Internet and a cell phone to attempt to entice a minor to engage in sexual activity.
John Richard Fortenberry, Jr., 38, of Murfreesboro, Tenn., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Greg Kays on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, to 27 years in federal prison without parole.
Fortenberry, who pleaded guilty on Nov. 26, 2013, was a registered sex offender in Tennessee at the time of the offense. He was previously convicted of indecent liberties with a child.
In January 2013, an acquaintance of Fortenberry contacted the FBI to report that he was in contact via Facebook with a 12-year-old girl in the Kansas City, Mo., area. Their Facebook messages indicated that Fortenberry was planning to travel to Kansas City to meet the victim in person and engage in sexual activity.
According to court documents, the federal investigation established that Fortenberry had been in constant and continual contact with the minor victim via Skype, Facebook, e-mail and phone since she was 11 years old. Fortenberry and the minor victim would mutually masturbate and watch pornography together while talking on Skype.
FBI agents found approximately 1,200 text messages between Fortenberry and the minor victim, dating back to November of 2012, on the victimâ€™s cell phone. Agents also discovered a video of Fortenberry masturbating and nude photographs of the victim on the cell phone.
Fortenberry was controlling, threatening, and coerced the minor victim, according to court documents. The minor victim stated that Fortenberry, who had access to her Facebook account, deleted any of her friends whom he thought were a â€śthreat.â€ť The minor victim also reported that Fortenberry controlled her activity on Facebook and threatened her to the point that she was scared. He threatened to commit suicide if the minor victim did not follow his orders to reformat her computer in order to hide evidence from law enforcement.
After Fortenberry became aware of the investigation, he not only coerced the victim into reformatting her computer, but he reformatted his own hard drive to hide evidence of the crime.
After Fortenberry was arrested and incarcerated he made numerous attempts to contact the victim. According to court documents, law enforcement officers obtained letters from Fortenberryâ€™s mother that were written and sent to her by Fortenberry. In these letters he instructed his mother to communicate with the minor victim on his behalf, and asked his mother to send him photographs of the victim.