Colorado Springs man indicted and held without bond for the sexual exploitation of children
DENVER – Justin Craig Smith, age 32, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver for the sexual exploitation of children, the distribution of child pornography, and the possession of child pornography, United States Attorney John Walsh and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agent in Charge Kumar Kibble announced. The federal grand jury indictment was handed down in August. Smith, who was on bond for state charges since December 2012, made his initial appearance in federal court on October 11, 2013. He was ordered held without bond after a hotly contested hearing on October 17, 2013. On that date he was also arraigned.
According to the indictment as well as a proffer given by the government in open court during the detention hearing, from July, 2010 through April, 2011, Smith attempted and did use two minors to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing child pornography. On May 7, 2012, Smith allegedly knowingly distributed and attempted to distribute child pornography. Lastly, on December 5, 2012, he was found in possession of child pornography.
In December of 2012, local law enforcement executed a search warrant at Smith’s Colorado Springs residence after an investigation revealed that he was using a peer-to-peer system to share child pornography. During the subsequent investigation it was determined that Smith had photographed his sexual assault of a minor child, aged 8 years old and taken lascivious photographs of another child who is now 12 years old for a period of years. The defendant also made his young victims watch videotapes of child pornography. Further forensic evaluation of Smith’s computer not only uncovered the images of his sexual molestation, it also contained one of the largest collection of toddler videos that the forensic analyst has ever seen.
After the December 2012 search warrant was executed, Smith was arrested by the Colorado Springs Police on state charges of molestation. That case is pending.
“Mr. Smith engaged in the sexual assault and exploitation of two young children to produce child pornography,” said U.S. Attorney John Walsh. “This case should send a strong message to those who sexually prey on our children that they will get caught and they will be punished.”
“Only those predators who produce child pornography really know what perverted logic they use to rationalize the horrific trauma they permanently inflict on innocent children,” said Kumar C. Kibble, special agent in charge of HSI Denver. “However, our special agents with Homeland Security Investigations derive great satisfaction from rescuing these children from their living nightmare, and pursuing prosecution against their victimizers.”
If convicted of the sexual exploitation of children, Smith faces not less than 15 years, and not more than 30 years in federal prison, as well as a fine of not more than $250,000, per count for each of the two counts. If convicted of distribution of child pornography, the defendant faces not less than 5 years, and not more than 20 years in federal prison, as well as a fine of up to $250,000. If convicted of possession of child pornography the defendant faces not more than 10 years imprisonment, and up to a $250,000 fine.
This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI),with cooperation from the Colorado Springs Police Department and the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC).
Smith is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Valeria Spencer.
The charges contained in the indictment are allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC), 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, PSC 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 PSC, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/ For more information about Internet safety education, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/resources.html and click on the tab "resources."