Sexual Exploitation Of Minors Leads To Lengthy Prison Sentence

Robert Oliver Parker, 76, of Hickory, was given an active prison sentence of six to 22 years following his guilty plea to three counts of second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor on Tuesday, July 25, 2023, in Catawba County Superior Court.

The Honorable Bradley B. Letts, Superior Court Judge from Haywood County, imposed the terms of the plea arrangement after Parker entered his guilty plea.

The defendant will serve his period of incarceration in the custody of the North Carolina Division of Adult Corrections. He also will be required to register as a sex offender for 30 years.

In August 2020, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Department of Homeland Security received a cyber tip about a user communicating with and receiving sexually explicit images of minor children from an individual in the Philippines. That report was sent to the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) for further investigation.

The investigation traced the transmissions to an email account of the defendant. It was discovered that from 2010 to 2020 he received more than 16,000 images from the individual in the Philippines of more than 30 underage girls.

SBI agents made contact with Parker in February 2021 at his residence, and he confirmed his relationship with the contact in the Philippines, and that he had traveled there to engage in sexual intercourse with females that involved filming and photographing his interactions with them. He denied that the females were underage, and he also told authorities that he sent money to the individual sending images to him on a monthly basis.

When a search warrant was executed for Parker’s residence, investigators seized multiple items. All of those forensically examined were found to contain child sexual assault material. The defendant was observed in thousands of videos engaging in sex with minors. Numerous e-mail conversations were uncovered with the defendant specifically requesting girls and different images/poses of them.

The case was investigated by Special Agent Chris Chambliss of the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) with assistance from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Department of Homeland Security. Assistant District Attorney Jessica Phillips handled prosecution for the State, with aid from Legal Assistant Dea Crowe.