Colorado Springs man and member of "North american may-Boy Love Association" indicted by federal grand jury
DENVER – A federal grand jury in Denver recently returned an indictment charging Clifton Brett Bennett, age 55, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, with one count of receipt of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Colorado Springs Police Department -- Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) announced. Bennett appeared in U.S. District Court in Denver on October 29, 2013. He did not contest the government’s request that he be detained. He was also arraigned. A tentative trial date of January 6, 2014 before U.S. District Court Judge Christine M. Arguello has been set.
According to the indictment, between November 1, 2008 and April 15, 2011 Bennett knowingly received material that contained child pornography. Further, on January 23, 2013, Bennett knowingly possessed child pornography. According to a state affidavit of probable cause, a United States Postal Inspector contacted an ICAC detective regarding a child pornography investigation. Postal Inspectors had identified an individual who lived in Colorado Springs who made over $4,000 in purchases for over 100 child pornography videos over a number of years. Follow up investigation determined the individual was Clifton Bennett.
A search warrant was executed at Bennett’s residence. During the execution of the warrant a detective conducted a forensic preview of the computer, and found images of prepubescent boys who were nude and posed in sexually explicit positions with their genitals exposed. They also found DVDs containing child pornography – many of which were delivered via U.S. Mail from New York. He also allegedly bought and downloaded child pornography as well. Investigators also determined that Bennett was a member of the “North American Man-Boy Love Association.” Following the execution of the search warrant Bennett was arrested and held in state custody. With the return of a federal indictment the state dismissed their case in its entirety.
If convicted of receipt of child pornography the defendant faces not less than 5 years and not more than 20 years in federal prison, and up to a $250,000 fine. If the defendant has a prior qualifying child exploitation conviction, he faces not less than 15 years and not more than 40 years imprisonment, as well as a fine of up to a $250,000. If convicted of possession of child pornography the defendant faces not more than 10 years in federal prison, and up to a $250,000 fine. If the defendant has a prior qualifying child exploitation conviction, he faces not less than 10 years and not more than 20 years imprisonment, as well as a fine of up to $250,000. Bennett has a prior state conviction for Sexual Exploitation of Children, for which he served time in jail.
“The defendant in this case obtained some of his child pornography through the U.S. Mail,” said U.S. Attorney John Walsh. “Regardless of how defendants obtain their explicit material showing children being sexually abused, we will use every tool available to prosecute them.”
“Protecting children from these egregious crimes remains a top priority for the U.S. Postal Inspection Service,” said Adam P. Behnen, Inspector in Charge, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Denver Division. “We continue to aggressively investigate, apprehend and assist in the prosecution of individuals who seek to sexually exploit children via the U.S. Mail.”
“Children are not a commodity. They remain our most precious resource and need to be protected,” said Colorado Springs Police Chief Peter T. Carey. “I applaud the diligence of our ICAC Unit in safeguarding our children from those who prey on them.”
This case was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service and the Colorado Springs Police Department -- Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC).
Bennett 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."