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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Idaho

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, May 5, 2014

Mountain Home Man Pleads Guilty To Federal Child Pornography Charge

Admitted sexual contact with prepubescent minors

BOISE - Christopher James Swicegood, 22, of Mountain Home, Idaho, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court today to Possession of Sexually Explicit Images of Prepubescent Minors, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced.

According to the plea agreement, the investigation began in January 2013, when U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigators followed a lead provided by a foreign government concerning users of a website used extensively by persons interested in exchanging child pornography. Investigators obtained a search warrant for the home Swicegood shared with others in Mountain Home and found images and videos of prepubescent minors being sexually abused on a computer and hard drive Swicegood owned. Swicegood admitted that he had posted child pornography on the foreign website and that he had traded child pornography with other users of the foreign website.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children examined the material found on Swicegood’s media and identified 230 image files from 57 known child pornography series, and 30 videos from 14 separate child pornography series. Each series represents a different minor victim or group of minor victims being sexually abused. These victims come from a variety of states of the United States and many foreign countries.

Also according to the plea agreement, Swicegood admitted sexual interactions, including sexual touching, with at least three different minor children in the Mountain Home area. Swicegood is currently incarcerated in the Elmore County jail, awaiting trial for a charge of Lewd or Lascivious Acts on a Minor Child under the age of 16 years.

The charge of Possession of Sexually Explicit Images of Prepubescent Minors is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000 and from 5 years up to lifetime-supervised release.

Sentencing is set is before U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill on July 22, 2014, at the federal courthouse in Boise.

The case was investigated by the Department of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), which is a member of the Idaho Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, a statewide coalition of local, state and federal law enforcement and prosecution agencies, focused on apprehending and prosecuting individuals who use the Internet to criminally exploit children. For more information about the Idaho ICAC Task Force and a list of all the participating agencies, visit www.icacidaho.org.

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.”