Texas man found guilty in Lafayette federal court of attempted sex crime

Advocate file photo by Bryan Tuck -- The Federal Courthouse in downtown Lafayette Show caption
Advocate file photo by Bryan Tuck -- The Federal Courthouse in downtown Lafayette

A Texas man was convicted this week in a federal trial for trying to entice a 14-year-old into a sexual relationship through online chats in 2012, U.S. Attorney Stephanie Finley said in an emailed release.

Elton Ray Jones, 67, of Zavalla, Texas, faces 10 years to life in a federal prison after a jury found him guilty of one count of trying to entice a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity. After a two-day trial, the jury deliberated for one hour before announcing the verdict Tuesday.

Finley said Jones engaged in online conversations with a law enforcement officer posing as a 14-year-old girl in an online chat room from Sept. 11, 2012, to Oct. 17, 2012.

“Jones engaged in explicit conversations with the girl and planned a sexual encounter,” Finley said.

Jones was arrested Oct. 17, 2012, in Lafayette after traveling from Texas for the date.

In addition to the possible life sentence, Jones faces five years to life of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.

He also will be ordered to register as a sex offender if he’s released.

U.S. District Judge Elizabeth Foote, who presided over the trial, did not set a date for sentencing.

The case was part of a U.S. Department of Justice program called Project Safe Childhood, a federal police-prosecutor initiative designed to combat the sexual exploitation of children.