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Man found guilty of using 8-year-old to produce child porn

Crime Watch

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The following is a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Idaho.

BOISE — U.S. Attorney Bart Davis announced today that a federal jury sitting in Boise returned guilty verdicts on October 18, against Seth Anthony Johnson, 35, of Twin Falls, on charges that he sexually exploited an 8-year-old child by using her to produce sexually explicit images.

The jury also found Johnson guilty of possessing child pornography and sexually exploiting an 8-year-old girl while required to register as a sex offender under federal and state law.

The trial began on October 15 and concluded Friday afternoon when the jury returned their verdicts. The case was tried before Chief U.S. District Judge David C. Nye.

According to court records, Johnson was arrested on November 29, 2017. At that time, federal agents discovered six images of child pornography on his cell phone. After eight months of investigation, agents identified the minor victim as an eight-year-old girl. Agents also determined that Johnson had produced the images of child pornography with his cell phone. At the time that he did so, Johnson was required to register as a sex offender under federal and state law due to a prior rape conviction.

The charge of sexual exploitation of a child carries a mandatory penalty of life in prison. The charge of possession of child pornography is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and at least 5 years and up to lifetime of supervised release. For being a registered sex offender at the time he exploited the child, Johnson also faces a consecutive mandatory penalty of 10 years imprisonment, which must be served consecutively to any other term of imprisonment.

Sentencing is set for February 19, 2020, before Judge Nye at the federal courthouse in Boise.

This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and the U.S. Marshals Service.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals, who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims.

For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc.

For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”

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