News and Press Releases

United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner
Eastern District of California

Former Casa Volunteer Sentenced to 8 Years in Prison for Possession of Child Pornography

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 10, 2013
 

Docket #: 2:11-CR-00533 MCE

 

 

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — United States District Judge Morrison C. England Jr. sentenced Donald G. Callahan, 63, of Rocklin, to eight years and one month in prison, to be followed by 10 years of supervised release, for possession of child pornography, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced. Judge England also imposed a $15,000 fine.

This case was the product of an investigation by the Sacramento Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, a federally and state-funded task force managed by the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department with agents from federal, state, and local agencies. The Sacramento ICAC investigates online child exploitation crimes, including child pornography, enticement, and sex trafficking. Assistant United States Attorney Kyle Reardon prosecuted the case.

According to court documents, in September 2011, law enforcement identified a computer at Callahan’s home offering child pornography through an Internet file-sharing service. On October 25, 2011, agents searched Callahan’s home and seized his computer and several compact disks. The computer contained approximately 898 image files and 536 video files showing the sexual exploitation of children. On the compact disks were an additional 16 video files. The collection included files showing the molestation of infants and toddlers.

At sentencing, Judge England was concerned that Callahan, given the crime to which he pleaded and his own history of sexual abuse, had been involved in the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program. CASA volunteers work on behalf of children who are in the California court system, often as the result of being victims in abuse and neglect cases.

Judge England noted that Callahan’s past victimization was not an excuse for his actions. “Regardless of your past, there has got to be recognition at some point that there are consequences for your actions,” said Judge England. He noted that every time Callahan downloaded and viewed images of child pornography, “the victim gets victimized again.”

Judge England stated that he hoped the sentence would deter others who might consider downloading and possessing images and videos of minors being sexually abused, and that anyone who was considering such acts would realize that “it is just not worth it.”

Judge England was also concerned that some of the images at issue in this case showed the sexual molestation of toddlers and infants. According to Judge England, “This is the worst type of violence in a crime such as this that you can have.”

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 those who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. Click on the “resources” tab for information about Internet safety education.

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