HOUSTON - A Katy mom is accused of offering up her child, niece and nephew for sex.
The ordeal began in Independence, Missouri, where an Internet crimes task force arrested Michael Stratton.
He was taken into federal custody. While in custody, Stratton tipped authorities off to the alleged activities of Stephanie Hays, who lives in Katy.
Missouri investigators contacted local authorities, who launched their own investigation.
The Houston Metro Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force engaged in online conversations with Hayes, using Stratton’s login information.
According to investigators, Hays was arranging to meet with Stratton.
“The had an arrangement to meet last week. In fact, the young lady had actually taken a week off of work and had taken a whole week of vacation last week,” said Eric Devlin. He's one of the investigators.
Officials arrested Hays and searched her home. Inside, officials say, they found two laptops with graphic child pornography on them.
Investigators said some of the images depicted an adult male forcing sex on a 2-year-old child.
Stratton, 26, is in jail in Missouri, accused of scheduling an eight-day trip to meet with Hays in Texas.
Authorities said Stratton also planed a sexual encounter with a woman and a 15-year-old girl in North Carolina.
“As sad as it sounds, it’s becoming all more common. It’s one where we were very concerned. The internet allows people to go out there and seek almost any type of sexual act that they want even those acts that are illegal, taboo and incredibly horrendous, but most importantly, we want people to know Houston is not the place to do this kind of thing,” said Assistant District Attorney Eric Devlin.
Hays made her first court appearance Thursday.
She's charged with possession of child pornography and sexual abuse of a child and is now in jail on $50,000 bond.
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