Numerous electronic devices seized in connection with elderly Abilene man's sex trafficking arrest
Abilene Police recently seized electronic items from the home of an elderly man facing sex trafficking and sexual assault of child charges, according to court documents.ABILENE, Texas -
Howard Collier, 70, allegedly paid teens for sexual acts and chores before his arrest in mid-December for continuous trafficking of persons.
On Dec. 19, Abilene police executed a search warrant in a north Abilene home in the 500 block of Jolly Rogers Road. They seized 11 laptops, three computer towers, three thumb drives, three cameras, two cell phones, two computer servers, one video recorder, one box of DVRs, one computer, one tablet, and CDs allegedly belonging to Collier.
According to the search warrant, the items are pending forensic analysis.
On Dec. 7, an Abilene police officer contacted Collier at his home and observed security cameras as well as a room inside the home, later identified as the “radio room,” which contained multiple computers and monitors.
That same day, a female victim under the age of 17 was interviewed by an officer and she stated that she, along with a friend, had received $800 in cash to perform sexual acts on each other. Collier was interviewed and confirmed the allegations. He said he performed a sexual act on one of the female victims and that he paid $1,000 in cash.
On Dec. 13, a male victim under the age of 17 was interviewed by police, according to the search warrant. That victim said Collier showed him a video on a computer in Collier’s home of a known girl under the age of 17 displaying nude parts of her body. The victim said the video had been made a year earlier.
Also, that same day, another female victim under the age of 17 was interviewed by an officer. That victim said Collier would "pay her $1,000 in cash per week to perform [sexual acts] on her on a weekly basis for a year.”
On Dec. 14, a male victim under the age of 17 was interviewed by an officer. The male victim said Collier would perform sexual acts on him and then paid him $5,000 in cash for the sex act. The victim “also stated he was aware of other victim(s) that are or were under the age of 17 years of age that performed sexual acts with/for Howard Collier and were paid money for those acts.”
The search warrant also states victims and witnesses who were interviewed during APD’s investigation said Collier transported children from their homes to his home on the 500 block of Jolly Rogers Road in his red pickup truck “to work on his garden and conduct various chores around his property." They also said they "were paid in cash for their work” and that it was known that Collier kept a large amount of cash “in a large locked safe at his residence.”