WASHINGTON – A Boise, Idaho man has been sentenced to life in prison plus 60 years for producing a video of a toddler being sexually abused and sharing it on the Internet with a sex offender in Canada, Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Thomas E. Moss of the District of Idaho announced today.
Jerry L. Banks Sr., 54, was sentenced today by Judge William B. Shubb of the Eastern District of California, sitting in the District of Idaho. Banks was convicted on Nov. 21, 2006, of child pornography charges.
Banks previously served 12 years in Idaho state prison for molesting an 11-year-old boy. Testimony during the six-day trial in Boise showed that Banks was the operator of a WinMX peer-to-peer file sharing channel called “Kid Sex and Incest,” which is now defunct. Banks used that forum to contact other like-minded persons and to exchange sexually explicit images with them.
Banks was also convicted of transporting and receiving child pornography via the Internet to and from a sex offender in Edmonton, Alberta; transporting child pornography between Boise and a person in California, whom he thought was a 12-year-old girl; and possessing child pornography on eight separate computer storage media, including computers, CDs and a portable “jump drive” at his office adjacent to his home. The images and videos at issue in the case depicted minors under the age of 12. Banks was separately sentenced to 60 years in prison, to run consecutive to his life sentence, for his conviction of those crimes.
The investigation began in mid-May 2005 when detectives in Edmonton, Alberta, arrested a Canadian citizen for child exploitation offenses. That resulted in an international probe which has since produced more than 60 arrests in Canada, the United States, Great Britain, Europe and Australia, and more than 20 children being rescued from situations in which they were being sexually exploited, according to Detective Randy Wickins of the Edmonton Police Services, who testified in the Banks trial.
U.S. Attorney Moss praised the diligent work of the trial team, Detective Wickins, FBI Special Agent Mary Martin, and High Tech Investigator Lam Nguyen of the Department of Justice. “At any given time 50,000 predators are prowling for children on the Internet,” Moss said. “It is not an exaggeration to say that we are in the midst of an epidemic of sexual abuse and exploitation of our children. Anyone who steals the innocence of a child will be punished to the full extent of the law.”
The case was investigated jointly by the Edmonton Police Services in Alberta, Canada, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation with the assistance of the High Technology Investigative Unit (HTIU) of the U.S. Department of Justice, Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section. It was prosecuted by James M. Peters, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Idaho, and Alexandra Gelber, a trial attorney from the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.