Eagle fugitive who fled to Europe, pleads guilty to child exploitation charges

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) -- A former Eagle man on the run for 10 years has pleaded guilty to child exploitation charges.

The U.S. Attorney's Office says Gerald Lee Farrell, 46, pleaded guilty to interstate travel with a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity and one count of possession of sexually explicit images of minors.

According to the plea agreement, Farrell and his wife became a host family for a 16-year-old German female exchange student in August 2003. The plea agreement further states that throughout the fall of 2003, the defendant tried to see the girl nude or partially nude and that he engaged her in conversations of a sexual nature.

In December 2003, Farrell took the girl to Nevada. One night, officials say she woke up to find Farrell on top of her trying to remover her underwear. The girl was able to push the defendant away.

Ada County Sheriff's Office deputies executed a search warrant at Farrell's Eagle home on January 4, 2004, and seized his computer and other items. Farrell and his wife fled Idaho for Switzerland a week later.

According to the plea agreement, a forensic examiner found video files of children under 18 engaging in sexually explicit conduct on Farrell's seized computer hard drive. These images were of minors other than the foreign exchange student.

He was arrested in Spain in July 2013 and extradited to the United States in December 2013.

Farrell is scheduled to be sentenced May 27.