This particular defendant was sentenced to federal prison by the Eastern District of Virginia. He was charged with several counts of possessing and producing child pornography. He was arrested for participating in and operating two websites that enticed and coerced children to engage in sex acts online. This story illustrates the dangers of conducting criminal activity online. The Internet is not always anonymous.
These websites were web-cam based and offed access to live child pornography to consumers all over the world. The joint investigations, code-name Operation Subterfuge, identified more than 300 victimized children and estimated that a total of 1,600 victims were lured to this website. It involved law enforcement agencies from the U.S., Canada, Australia, South Africa and others.
This individual and others using the websites created false online social media profiles to lure their victims to the sites. They often used videos of other exploited children to convince them that they were speaking with other minors. They then secretly recorded the other minors as they engaged in sexual conduct on webcams. Several of these recordings were recovered on the defendant’s computers.
Viewing exploited children online is a crime, even though you may not touch or hurt them. This investigation was part of the FBI’s Project Safe Childhood, an ongoing initiative to reduce the proliferation of online child exploitation. You can count on further operations and investigations related to this special project.
If you are the subject of an investigation for this crime then you may want to speak to an attorney as soon as possible. These are serious charges that could implicate your professional reputation and subject you to the sex offender registry. It does not pay to ignore these investigations, you must confront them immediately or face severe consequences.
Source: Department of Justice, “Member of International Child Exploitation Conspiracy Sentences to 21 Years in Prison,” Office of Public Affairs, Apr.8 , 2016