Federal Authorities Seek Help Identifying Two in Child Sexual Exploitation Case with Photos Likely Taken in Los Angeles Area
LOS ANGELES – Seeking leads in an unsolved child sexual exploitation case, federal authorities today announced the filing of a federal criminal complaint against two individuals – known only as “John Doe” and “Jane Doe” – who are charged with producing child pornography.
In relation to the filing of the case against the unidentified man and woman, authorities today released photographs connected to the investigation, which has determined that the child pornography images were likely produced in the Los Angeles area. Authorities hope the photos will prompt members of the public to provide information that will lead to arrests in this case.
The criminal complaint, which was filed Monday, involves a widely circulated series of child pornography images which authorities believe were taken about 11 years ago in the San Fernando Valley. Despite their investigative efforts, special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) have been unable to determine the identities of the defendants. While the girl being sexually abused in the images is now likely an adult, authorities continue to pursue the case for several reasons, including bringing the defendants to justice and preventing the abuse of additional victims.
“We need the public’s help in identifying the man and woman responsible for molesting this young girl, whose victimization has continued with the trading of these images by those who collect child pornography,” said United States Attorney André Birotte Jr. “The Justice Department is deeply committed to protecting all of our children by investigating and prosecuting these types of child exploitation crimes.”
The pictures in this case show a male and female adult sexually molesting a girl who appears to be about 13. Although the male’s face has been purposely obscured, the female’s face can be seen in a number of the images. “John Doe” is a 40- to 50-year-old white male, and “Jane Doe” is a 35- to 45-year-old white female. Both defendants would now be approximately 11 years older. The female has several tattoos, including a black tattoo on her right hip resembling a butterfly, a tattoo on her right shoulder blade depicting the outline of a curled up cat, a tattoo with words across the top of her left wrist and a tattoo on the upper portion of her left breast.
“The images in this series have been identified in connection with more than 275 child pornography investigations across the country,” said Claude Arnold, Special Agent in Charge for HSI Los Angeles. “The reality is, every time a photo or a video of an innocent child being sexually exploited is viewed, that victim is violated again. That is why we owe it to all of the juvenile victims in these kinds of cases to work tirelessly to seek answers and, ultimately, justice. Those who produce and trade child pornography over the Internet believe they’re protected by the anonymity of cyberspace. With the public’s help, we’re determined to prove them wrong.”
Based upon forensic analysis conducted by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), investigators believe that the images were produced in the Los Angeles area, specifically in the San Fernando Valley. So far, HSI special agents in Los Angeles have interviewed dozens of individuals seeking further leads in the case, but they have yet to identify either the adults or the victim in the photographs.
The child pornography images in this case were first discovered by HSI special agents in Chicago in 2007. The material was submitted to the Child Victim Identification Program operated by NCMEC, which determined the victim had not yet been identified and was not linked with other known child pornography images.
Anyone with information or tips that can assist in this investigation is encouraged to call 1-866-DHS-2ICE or visit http://www.ice.gov/exec/forms/hsi-tips/tips.asp. Tips may be reported anonymously. Incidents involving suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may also be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children through its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678).
The announcement of the case against John and Jane Doe was made in relation to HSI’s Operation Sunflower, a recently concluded enforcement action aimed at rescuing victims and targeting individuals who own, trade and produce child pornography. In the Los Angeles area, HSI identified several children who had been subjected to ongoing sexual abuse, and those allegedly responsible are now being prosecuted by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
Images depicting John Doe and Jane Doe were filed with the criminal complaint earlier this week. Those images and the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint are available for download at: https://www.yousendit.com/download/UW15Q3R6TStubVdVQU1UQw.
Media may also request the photos via email from the Public Affairs Office of the United States Attorney’s Office.
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