News and Press Releases

Michigan Man Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison for Participating in Child Pornography Ring and Producing Child Pornography

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 23, 2012

RIVERSIDE, California – A Michigan man was sentenced today to 25 years in federal prison for filming his sexual abuse of a young boy and distributing a video to members of an international child exploitation enterprise.

Joshua Boras, 34, of Lapeer, Michigan, was sentenced by United States District Judge Virginia A. Phillips. In December 2010, Boras pleaded guilty to one count of participation in a child exploitation enterprise and one count of production of child pornography.

The sentencing of Boras was announced by Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, United States Attorney André Birotte Jr. and Assistant Director in Charge Steve Martinez of the FBI's Los Angeles Field Office.

Boras was affiliated with the “Lost Boy” online bulletin board, which according to court documents and proceedings was dedicated to men who have a sexual interest in young boys and was established to provide a forum to trade child pornography. Federal authorities, working in conjunction with a coalition of international law enforcement agencies, shut down the Lost Boy bulletin board approximately three years ago. As a result of the investigation, 16 named defendants were charged in the United States and arrested for their roles in the bulletin board. To date, 15 defendants have pleaded guilty or have been convicted at trial, and one defendant died in custody.

Boras is the second Lost Boy defendant to be sentenced. Previously, Christopher Klein, aka “Mr. Bean,” of Columbus, Ohio, was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison.

Thirteen defendants are pending sentencing, including Billy Wade Carroll, of Dayton, Ohio, who faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 35 years in federal prison when he is sentenced by Judge Phillips on Wednesday.

In addition to the 16 defendants named in the Lost Boy indictment, approximately six more men have been charged with child molestation as a result of the investigation. The investigation also led to the identification of 27 domestic victims of child abuse, some of whom were portrayed in images posted to the Lost Boy bulletin board.

According to court documents and proceedings, law enforcement authorities discovered the Lost Boy bulletin board after receiving information from Eurojust, the judicial cooperation arm of the European Union. Eurojust provided U.S. law enforcement with leads obtained from Norwegian and Italian authorities indicating that a North Hollywood man was communicating with an Italian national about child pornography and how to engage in child sex tourism in Romania. Acting on the information from Europe, the FBI executed search warrants that led to the discovery of the Lost Boy network. Further investigation revealed that Lost Boy had 35 members, 16 of whom were U.S. nationals. Other members of the network were located in countries around the world, including Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. 

According to court documents, Lost Boy had a thorough vetting process for new members, who were required to post child pornography to join the organization. Once accepted, members were required to continue posting child pornography to remain in good standing and to avoid removal from the board. According to court documents, Lost Boy members advised one another on techniques to evade detection by law enforcement, which included using screen names to mask identities and encrypting computer data.

In addition to his participation in Lost Boy, Boras filmed his sexual abuse of a minor boy and distributed these images to some of the members of the Lost Boy board.

International law enforcement efforts involving European law enforcement, the Brazilian Federal Police and other agencies have identified child molestation suspects in South America, Europe and New Zealand. Three suspects in Romania, one in France, and another in Brazil have been charged, and offenders have been convicted in Norway and the United Kingdom. Law enforcement have also identified dozens of child victims located in Norway, Romania, Brazil and other nations.

The investigation into the Lost Boy bulletin board was led by the FBI and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, in conjunction with the Los Angeles-based Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement (SAFE) Team. The High Technology Investigative Unit of the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section in the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, along with Eurojust, have provided invaluable assistance during the investigation. 

The Lost Boy case is being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section at the Justice Department.

Release No. 12-023

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