United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner
Eastern District of California
Carmichael Man Sentenced for Distributing Child Pornography
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Docket #: 2:13-cr-44-JAM
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — U.S. District Judge John A. Mendez sentenced Ray Laurence Howes, 34, of Carmichael, today to 11 years and three months in prison for distributing child pornography, to be followed by 20 years of supervised release, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced. Howes will also be required to register as a sex offender under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).
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 Attorneys Kyle Reardon and Olusere Olowoyeye prosecuted the case.
According to court documents, in September 2012, the Sacramento ICAC received a tip that Howes had uploaded child pornography to his cloud storage service. A search warrant was obtained and multiple images of child pornography were found. During a subsequent search of Howes’s residence, agents found more images of child pornography on his computer as well as sexually explicit Yahoo chats with individuals identifying themselves as minors. Howes also possessed non-pornographic digital pictures of minors taken surreptitiously by him at local schools and playgrounds, some of the pictures focused on the children’s clothed midsections.
In a statement given to law enforcement, Howes admitted to receiving and saving images of child pornography. He also admitted to having had sexual contact with a seven-year-old on two different occasions.
At sentencing, Judge Mendez was concerned by Howes’s admissions that he had an “interest in young children, and … that he had sexually molested a seven-year-old.” In imposing his sentence, Judge Mendez acknowledged this victim, as well as the others depicted in the images sent and received by Howes through his online chats. “Every time you trade these images [of child pornography], there are victims,” said Judge Mendez.
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.