Child porn victim faces defendants

Courtroom to courtroom she walked, a young woman clutching a paper that held her message of anger, hurt and sorrow.

Without a tear or the hint of an emotional breakdown, she clearly and forcefully spoke her written words to five convicted child pornographers, men who listened with downcast eyes or vacant stares.

“They are being entertained by my pain and my shame,” she told federal judges Monday in three different Fresno courtrooms. “It feels like I am being raped by each and every one of them.”

Each year, thousands of people — almost always men — are convicted on child pornography charges. Rarely, however, do authorities know the real people who are featured in the photographs and videos that, thanks to the Internet, are traded by pedophiles around the world.

This woman is different. Investigators were able to identify her.

And now — in what appears to be an emerging legal trend at the federal level — she is seeking restitution from the men who, when arrested, had videos featuring her.

The woman Monday addressed five of the six men she is seeking restitution from. A decision on restitution was rendered in only one case.

Among those she faced was Raymond Ferenci, 52, the longtime director of Tulare Western High School’s marching band. Ferenci was sentenced Monday to 6 1/2 years in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Anthony W. Ishii.

Not present was Terry Zane, 58, a former Fresno Unified School District music teacher, although Zane’s attorney was present. In March, Zane was given the same sentence as Ferenci. Both men — along with two other men — will return to federal court next month for a hearing on the woman’s restitution claim.

Prosecutor David Gappa said the woman is one of two victims who have filed restitution claims in U.S. District Court in Fresno. He is not sure why the trend is emerging now.

“I think it’s just taken awhile for them to learn about the process and realize the possibility of filing a claim,” Gappa said.

He said the restitution sought is for costs associated with past, current and future counseling.

In an unrelated case, a Connecticut federal judge this year ordered a man convicted of possessing and distributing child pornography to pay about $200,000 in restitution to a woman who was photographed being sexually abused as a child.

Now 19, the Washington state resident who spoke Monday in Fresno’s federal courthouse was 10 and 11 when her father fondled her and later had oral and anal sex with her for his own gratification. Her name was not revealed in court.

He recorded the incidents, and then sent out the videos over the Internet, where they spread far and wide among traders in child pornography. It wasn’t until she was 17 that she found out her father had gone online and traded videos of her.

“They don’t know me, but they’ve seen every part of my body,” the woman said in court. “They are trading my trauma around like treats at a party.”

The woman’s mother also testified, saying “the sadness this brings me is unending.”

Her former husband began abusing their daughter in 2000, but it wasn’t until several years later that she told her mother. The TV show “America’s Most Wanted” later ran two shows about the case.

The father, however, fled the United States in 2006. He was later arrested in Hong Kong and eventually sentenced to 50 years in federal prison.

His daughter’s first stop Monday was in U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill’s courtroom, where she read a statement at 22-year-old Fresno resident Ryan Christopher Lynn’s sentencing hearing.

O’Neill sentenced Lynn — who had been found guilty in an earlier jury trial — to 171/2 years in prison for trafficking in child pornography. O’Neill said Lynn showed “staggering immaturity.”

He set a hearing for next month on the woman’s restitution claim.

The judge then turned his attention to the woman, telling her she should not let herself be “dragged down by indecent people. … You need to move past that speed bump that seems like a brick wall … because you did nothing wrong.”

Already, she had told O’Neill that she lives in a constant state of paranoia, wondering whether men she sees in the grocery store have seen the video of her.

She also said she feels like she is being stalked because men have tried to track her down through friends’ MySpace pages, and a video of her appearance on “America’s Most Wanted” — in which she was much older — was featured in a compilation video traded by child pornographers. Lynn possessed that video as well, authorities said.

After addressing the multiple defendants in Ishii’s courtroom, the woman ended her day inWanger’s courtroom, where 40-year-old Robert Thompson of Exeter was sentenced to 10 years and 1 month in federal prison.

Wanger, however, denied the $150,000 restitution request because he said Thompson had no assets and no prospect of ever being able to pay the money.

After the woman addressed the court, Wanger turned to Thompson: “In every case,” the judge said, “these are real human beings.”

Published in: on June 16, 2009 at 8:57 am  Leave a Comment  

Samuel Huffer – Registered Sex Offender – Directing "Annie"

FREDERICK, MD – A summer production of “Annie” is getting a lot of fanfare – not because of the talent, but because of the play’s director. Turns out he’s a convicted sex offender.

The director, Samuel Huffer, spent 21 months in federal prison for possessing child pornography. He had worked as a drama teacher in Walkersville, but when officials raided his home in 2001, State’s Attorney Charlie Smith says they found pornographic tapes of boys.

“A leopard doesn’t change their spots,” Smith said. “I would think that there should be a moral obligation on these types of programs to notify parents.”

The play is put on by the Frederick Town Players. The community organization didn’t notify parent’s until three weeks into rehearsals.

“I don’t think Sam will harm a child. He certainly was convicted of a serious crime, he served prison time, and fulfilled his probation,” said Rick Weldon, who plays Daddy Warbucks.

There are about 50 people in the cast, and half of them are children. Weldon says Huffer is an exceptional director and the children are not in danger.

He added, “I would never put my personal reputation on the line to be involved in a production that I thought children were going to be at risk. I just wouldn’t have done it.”

Huffer has completed his three years of supervised probation. The State’s Attorney says he is not breaking the law by directing plays.

Joseph Lewis Smith – Facing charges for child molestation – he had child porn too – DUH!

A San Carlos Park man awaiting a state trial for alleged child molestation is now facing federal child pornography charges.

U.S. Marshals nabbed Joseph Lewis Smith, 39, of 18562 Zinnia Road, on Friday, following a Wednesday indictment. Smith is charged with one count of possession of child pornography and one count of receiving images from across state lines.

“I can tell you it’s some of the worst child pornography I’ve ever heard of,” Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas Malloy said of the case.

At the time of his arrest, Smith was awaiting trial in state court on a felony molestation charge from February. Accused of molesting a girl in his care under the age of 12, he was released on bond the day after his arrest.

With Friday’s arrest, Smith is now back in jail and scheduled for arraignment before a federal judge on Wednesday. A detention hearing at the same time will determine whether he stays in jail or is released.

Malloy said Lee County deputies notified FBI agents about the images during the Sheriff’s Office investigation. Deputies searched Smith’s house at one point, according to the arrest report from February.

According to his federal indictment, Smith received the images from as far back as January 2005. Malloy said they were especially graphic and involved young children.

“Sometimes people think this could be a mistake or a pop-up,” he said. “These are thousands of images.”

The indictment calls for the forfeiture of two computers and a USB drive at Smith’s home.

Smith’s February arrest followed accusations by the child, who was occasionally placed in Smith’s care by her mother. The child told investigators that Smith had her undress to her underware, and that he would massage and touch her buttocks and vagina with his hands and with a vibrator.

As part of Smith’s release, he was told to have no contact with the victim, through e-mail or texting, and he wasn’t allowed within 500 feet of the child’s house. He also surrendered his passport.

If convicted of the state charge, Smith faces a maximum sentence of life in prison. The two federal counts carry a maximum 15 years in federal prison.

Julie M. Carr – Female Pedophile – Sexually abused child on webcam

A mother of four young children in Maine was charged Monday with gross sexual assault after British investigators more than 3,000 miles away used the Internet to allegedly catch her in the act of Webcasting a sexual assault of her young child.

Julie M. Carr, 30, of Mars Hill, Maine, was arrested at about 11 p.m. Friday. Her four children — believed to range from 18 months to 5 years old — were taken into protective custody.

The Child Exploitation Investigation Team of England’s West Midlands Police said their unit received information late Thursday that a local man was using the Internet to show inappropriate material of children. An unidentified 18-year-old man was later arrested in Walsall, England.

A day later, on Friday, additional information was obtained by investigators, prompting the West Midland Police to contact officials at the Child Exploitation Online Protection and the U.S. Embassy.

“Our officers worked through the night on Thursday and Friday to ensure the identification and safety of these children across the other side of the world,” West Midlands Police Detective Chief Inspector Dave McCrone said in a statement obtained by “Many people use the Internet safely and securely; however, there are a small minority who choose to use it to commit criminality.”

“We work to make people safer, sooner. The very same technology used to commit the crime enables us to work quickly to protect those who may be vulnerable.”

Carr, who is being held on $50,000 bail on charges of gross sexual assault and felony exploitation of a child, was arraigned by videoconference before a judge on Monday. She did not enter a plea, Maine State Police Det. Sgt. John Cote told

Cote declined to identify the victim seen during the assault but said one recording was taken as recently as Wednesday.

“That’s kind of what facilitated us acting quickly on this information as we received it,” he told

Cote said it was impossible to immediately determine how many individuals viewed the material allegedly posted by Carr. He declined to discuss statements Carr may have given to investigators, but said “this type of crime” is increasingly common.

“It’s just continuing a trend that we’re seeing — an increase in this type of crime,” he said. “But as technology gets better, more units are dedicating more agents to this type of crime and are just getting better at it. It lends itself really to the prevelance of computers in our society.”

Cote, in a release issued on Saturday, said investigators were able to confirm that the woman seen in the video was Carr, and a search warrant was then secured for her home.

Attorney Jeffrey Pickering, who represented Carr during Monday’s arraignment, could not immediately be reached for comment. If convicted, Carr faces up to 20 years in prison for each charge.

Scottish paedophile nets Prison time for Perverts

Top, from left: Colin Slaven, Craig Boath, James Rennie, Neil Campbell, (bottom, from left) Ross Phillip Webber, John Patrick Murphy, John Milligan and Neil Strachan, who have all been found guilty of a catalogue of child pornography and abuse charges

Six members of a paedophile gang have been sent to prison for a total of more than 40 years for conspiring to abuse children and for owning and distributing grotesque images and videos of abuse.

Police and prosecutors expressed grim satisfaction at the length of the sentences meted out to three of the men, who were found guilty of conspiracy. The verdicts in the case, which has made set a legal precedent in Scotland, and the 17-year sentence imposed on John Milligan signals a significant tightening of the law to deal with sex offenders

Milligan, a 44-year-old civil servant from Glasgow, was found with 75,289 photographs and moving images of child sex abuse, and was “at the heart of this most serious conspiracy and a very major player,” said judge Lord Bannatyne, passing sentence. Milligan’s co-conspirators, Craig Boath from Dundee and Ross Webber, from North Berwick, received sentences of nine years and nine months and eight years and nine months respectively.

“The conspiracy charge in this case accurately reflected the actions of the accused and the full extent of their criminal behaviour which went far beyond the sharing of indecent photographs” said Morag McLaughlin, area procurator fiscal for Lothian and Borders.

“The charge highlighted how these individuals connected and planned to share children for sexual gratification, the individual parts and joint parts each played in that joint venture and the common goal that they sought. The charge of conspiracy makes clear that agreeing to take part in this kind of activity is itself an offence and can be struck at by the law, even if the agreement is not followed through.”

The other men were convicted of the lesser charges of distributing, possessing and making indecent images. Neil Campbell, 46, a bell-ringer at Jordanhill parish church in Glasgow, was jailed for three years and four months. A married man, Campbell was formerly a Church of Scotland elder.

John Murphy, a receptionist at a gay sauna in Glasgow was jailed for two years, and Colin Slaven, a 24-year-old IT worker from Edinburgh was jailed for three years, a year of which was for contempt of court, after he arrived at court drunk during the trial.

The judge said all the offences were of the most serious nature, involving real children. “Many of the photographs, involved children being sexually abused, often in the most appalling ways,” said Lord Bannatyne. “These are not victimless crimes. They are real victims of these offences, namely the children who are photographed and in many of these photographs are actually being abused. In many of the photographs the children were of tender years.”

Two other members of the gang, Neil Strachan, 41, and James Rennie, 38, a senior figure in youth work in Scotland, will be sentenced in seven weeks, for conspiracy and for other serious charges including the abuse of a three-month-old baby, left in Rennie’s care by close friends who had no knowledge of his abusive activities. Both men face the prospect of life sentences.

Detective Inspector Stuart Hood, who heading the 18-month police investigation, codenamed Algebra, said yesterday’s sentences sent a clear message to other offenders that the Scottish legal system “worked very well” and would hold them to proper account.

However, beyond the sheer volume of sickening images which were seized – totalling more than 125,000 photographs and videos – and the shocking “chatlogs” which recorded brutal details of abuse in internet conversations between the men. Mr Hood said officers found other aspects of the case disturbing, notably the level of deception involved.

None of the six men had previous convictions for sex offences, and all led apparently respectable, middle-class lives. Each one was involved in the “skilled deceit” of friends and family, in a way which was profoundly disturbing, he said.

The convictions stemmed from one of the most complex investigations ever carried out by Lothian and Borders Police. The gang were traced because Strachan forgot to remove a hard drive from a broken work computer he had sent for repair. It revealed hundreds of shocking images, and a record of internet conversations and e-mail addresses. An international investigation tracked down his friends and associates, an operation which involved computer experts in America and the UK, the FBI, and a former MI5 expert in radio technology.

The investigation indentified about 200 offenders across the globe and information on around 70 other people was sent to police forces throughout the UK as a result of the inquiry.

The images which had been recovered would “repulse any reasonable human being” said Mr Hood. “As an investigator it is often difficult to reconcile why individuals resort to this abhorrent behaviour. Despite this, Algebra has taught us many lessons and we will use these to target those who seek to commit these crimes.

“Technology is advancing all the time, we will use every tool at our disposal to make sure anyone involved in this kind of activity is identified and brought to justice,” he added.

Lord Bannatyne imposed extended sentences on the men sentenced yesterday, to provide extra protection for the public. Offenders on extended sentences remain on licence for a number of years after their release and should they fail to comply with the conditions of the licence, they can be re-arrested.

“25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years”
………Sarah Tofte

Robert L. Webster – Arrested for Distribution of Child Pornography

At least 29 such files were found on the hard drives, and one of the files was part of a known child sexual exploitation series, according to the papers.

A 35-year-old man was arrested last week for distributing child pornography on computers at his Felton home, police said.

Robert L. Webster of Fox Chase Drive was arrested early Thursday as the result of an online undercover investigation by the State Police Child Predator Task Force.

During a search, police seized six desktop computers, six laptops, 11 hard drives and other digital material, said police Sgt. Walter Newton.

Webster was charged with 29 counts of using a computer to unlawfully depict a child engaging in a prohibited sexual Act, Newton said.

Webster was arraigned at Justice of the Peace Court 7 in Dover and is being held on $870,000 bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Friday morning.

According to court records, police found Webster in his bedroom in the home’s basement, where a workstation with a desktop computer was found. Webster admitted he was the only resident to use the computer, the papers say.

Webster also admitted to using LimeWire, a file-sharing program, to download the pornographic images, some of children as young as 3 or 4 years old, the papers say.

At least 29 such files were found on the hard drives, and one of the files was part of a known child sexual exploitation series, according to the papers.

Juvenile Pedophile sex offenses on the rise

One of Detective Conkel’s cases involved a 17-year-old girl who worked at her parents daycare care just outside of Portsmouth, Toddler’s Haven Daycare. She said the teen confessed in January to raping boys and girls ages 1 to 5. After her juvenile conviction the teen was put on home confinement.

Juvenile sex offenses in Scioto County have sky-rocketed from about ten cases a year.

“A lot of people are like, oh it doesn’t happen around small communities, but we do have a lot of it and it happens on a regular basis,” said Detective Jodi Conkel with the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office.

Scioto County Assistant Prosecutor James Scott Smith blamed the spike in juvenile sex offender cases on society, from computers to a lack of parenting. He said about a fourth of the cases he encounters involves child sex offenders who were victims of sex crimes themselves.

“To have forty-six in a brief period of time, sixteen to seventeen months is kind of alarming,” said Smith. “From daycares to small village towns out in the county, it’s not one isolated area in the county the problem does exist.”

Jodi Conkel, Scioto County’s chief sex crimes investigator said the stack of juvenile sex crime cases on her desk keeps piling up. She said educating kids and adults along with making arrests.

“I’ve got a daughter and I started at a young age telling her this is your private areas, nobody touches them, and you can tell me about it, it’ll be ok,” said Detective Conkel.

One of Detective Conkel’s cases involved a 17-year-old girl who worked at her parents daycare care just outside of Portsmouth, Toddler’s Haven Daycare. She said the teen confessed in January to raping boys and girls ages 1 to 5. After her juvenile conviction the teen was put on home confinement.

In cases of juvenile sex offenders it is often the suspect’s family that takes a beating for their troubled teen.

Detective Conkel said most juvenile sex offenders have to register with local authorities, reporting their whereabouts, in person, every 90 days for the rest of their lives.

Published in: on June 14, 2009 at 5:16 am  Leave a Comment  

Graham John Simms – Repeat Sex Offender – Pedophile faces life in prison

He was before the courts for sexually molesting children in:

  • 1987
  • 1991
  • 2000
  • 2003
  • 2009

A predatory paedophile who targeted football-mad school boys has been warned he could be jailed for life.

Graham John Simms, who has a 20-year history of abusing youngsters, was found guilty of a series of offences after a five-week trial.

The 49-year-old was convicted of meeting three boys, aged from nine to 11, following “sexual grooming”, between October 2006, and April last year.

Simms, of Braunstone Lane, Braunstone, Leicester, was also found guilty at Leicester Crown Court of five counts of sexually assaulting the same boys.

He was cleared of five further charges of sexually assaulting the boys.

Simms denied all the charges saying he was only being “affectionate” and there was no grooming involved.

Sarah Knight, prosecuting, said that Simms befriended the boys and their parents through an under-14s village football team and also while attending Leicester City FC away matches.

She said: “He portrays himself as a single unmarried guy with no kids who purports to offer kindness to families who happen to have pre-pubescent boys.

“He’s clever and calculated about who he befriends.

“He would use his seeming interest in LCFC to ingratiate himself with parents in order to spend time alone with the boys and create an opportunity to satisfy his sexual needs.

“He would treat the boys to gifts or trips.”

Simms would turn up at a boys’ matches wearing a Leicester City tracksuit, and talk to youngsters about football.

He would hug his victims in a way they did not like and also gave them sweets and treats.

Simms would slap one of the boys on his bottom and insist on accompanying him to the lavatory.

He was found not guilty of all the more serious charges which alleged he had touched the boys groin areas. The court was told that Simms had previously been convicted and jailed for indecently assaulting youngsters in the past.

He was before the courts for sexually molesting children in 1987, 1991, 2000 and 2003 and was on licence when he committed these latest offences.

After the verdicts were announced, Judge Simon Hammond said he would be considering imposing a life sentence for public protection.

This means Simms would not be released from jail until a parole board considered he was no longer a danger.

The judge requested a probation report assessing Simms’s risk of dangerousness.

Simms was remanded in custody and will be sentenced on July 24. Judge Hammond said: “These are very grave offences.

“He has all the trademarks of a persistent sexual predator of young boys and I have a duty to protect young boys.”

After the case, the mother of one of the boys Simms had groomed said her son had been traumatised by what had happened to him and now experienced anxiety attacks.

The woman, who lives in North West Leicestershire, said: “I just want to know why he’s done it, but that’s something I will never find out.

“We became good friends with Graham and went to games together – we saw him as one of the family. I feel totally betrayed.”

“25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years”
………Sarah Tofte

Melissa L. Stephens – Female Pedophile Arrested

The founder and director of a private Tualatin-based arts program was arrested today and accused by police of raping a young boy five years ago.

Melissa L. Stephens, 55, was accused of engaging in sexual acts, including intercourse, with the boy, who was about 10 or 11 years old, said Jennifer Massey, spokeswoman for Tualatin Police.

Stephens is founder and director of Willow Cottage Arts and Academics Program, a private arts program offering alternative education opportunities for children. It caters to students from kindergarten to the eighth grade, according to its web site.

The private school also conducts a summer arts program at Brown’s Ferry Park in Tualatin. According to the school web site, the summer program has been in existence since 1987. Massey said it runs for six weeks and caters to approximately 300 to 400 children ranging in age from 3 to 18.

Stephens was arrested at the school, located at 18815 S.W. Boones Ferry Road, at 10 a.m., Massey said.

Massey said police learned of Stephens’ alleged involvement with the boy on Monday.

Massey did not say now Stephens knew the boy, whether he was a student at the school or if police believe there may be other victims.

Massey said the investigation was handled jointly by Tualatin Police and the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office.

Stephens was accused of first-degree rape, first-degree sodomy and first-degree sex abuse. Stephens is scheduled to be arraigned at 3 p.m. Thursday in the Washington County Courthouse.

The case remains under investigation, Massey said.

David Tank – Repeat Sex Offender – Producing his own Child Porn

  • Age at conviction: 35
  • Victim’s Age: 4

A registered sex offender was arrested today and charged with producing child pornography after federal agents searched his Bloomingdale apartment and found a number of images of a nude, underage girl in his computer.

David Tank, 47, and his girlfriend babysat for the girl from time to time, according to a federal complaint. Tank’s girlfriend was not charged with any wrongdoing.

Tank has been a registered sex offender since March 2005, the complaint stated.

He was ordered held in federal custody today pending a detention hearing scheduled for 2 p.m. Tuesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Geraldine Soat Brown.

“25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years”
………Sarah Tofte