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A Mariposa, California man was sentenced to more than 15 years in federal prison today after he abducted and repeatedly sexually abused an Oregon minor he met online.
Deven Richard Dearing, 26, was sentenced to 187 months in federal prison followed by a life term of supervised release.
According to court documents, in August 2020, multiple law enforcement agencies began searching for an Oregon minor declared missing by her family. Investigators soon discovered social media exchanges between the minor and Dearing, who was found to be residing in central California near Sacramento. On August 29, 2020, FBI agents contacted Dearing and interviewed him about his online exchanges and the possible whereabouts of the Oregon minor. On the same day, unrelated to law enforcement’s contact with Dearing, the missing minor walked into the Merced County Sheriff’s Office in Merced, California and told police she had run away from home. Investigators later learned this story was a lie concocted by Dearing to hide his role in the minor’s abduction.
Following the minor’s safe return to Oregon, the FBI’s investigation revealed Dearing had met her in June 2020 through a chat website called Omegle and later continued chatting with her on Instagram. The chats showed that Dearing, who was 23 at the time, knew the girl was minor and, over several months, engaged in extensive, sexually explicit exchanges with her. Dearing further convinced the minor to produce and send him multiple sexually explicit photos and videos.
On August 20, 2020, Dearing drove more than 600 miles from his house in California to the minor’s home in Oregon. While en route, he devised a plan to disable the SIM card in the minor’s phone to prevent her from being tracked. After picking her up, Dearing initially took the minor to a hotel in Oregon where he sexually abused her and later transported her to California where the abuse continued for more than a week. Dearing eventually agreed to drop the minor off at a local police station.
On January 25, 2021, Dearing was charged by criminal complaint with attempted sexual exploitation of a child, transportation with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, receipt of child pornography, and possession of child pornography.
Later, on April 15, 2021, a federal grand jury in Eugene returned an indictment charging Dearing with sexual exploitation of a child, transportation with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, and receipt of child pornography. On September 15, 2022, Dearing pleaded guilty to the first two charges.
This case was investigated by the FBI’s Eugene Resident Agency and the Corvallis Police Department with assistance from the FBI’s Fresno, California Resident Agency, the FBI’s Cellular Analysis Survey Team (CAST) and the FBI’s Child Abduction Rapid Deployment (CARD) Team. It was prosecuted by William M. McLaren, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon, in coordination with the Benton County, Oregon and Mariposa County, California District Attorney’s Offices.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat 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 www.fbi.gov/tips.
Source: U.S. Attorney for Oregon