News and Press Releases

British Actor Sentenced To 25 Years In Federal Prison For Production Of Child Pornography Over The Internet

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 22, 2013

Orlando, Florida – United States District Judge Charlene Edwards Honeywell yesterday sentenced John David Baker (30, resident of Celebration, Florida; citizen of the United Kingdom) to 25 years in prison for using children to produce child pornography over the Internet.  He was also ordered to serve a 15-year term of supervised release, following his incarceration, and to register as a sex offender.  Baker has been held in the custody of the United States Marshals Service since his arrest on September 7, 2012.

According to court documents, beginning in or about November 2008 through about August 2010, Baker used computers and interactive computer services to engage in online conversations with several minor children.  During this period, Baker worked as an actor and helped train and audition adults and children who were attempting to pursue careers in the entertainment business.  Baker also served as a talent judge for a talent competition in Florida.  In this role, Baker met minor children who were auditioning to obtain work in the art and film industries.

After a complaint by a concerned parent of a child whom Baker had contacted online, Baker was interviewed by law enforcement.  Baker acknowledged that he had been confronted by the director of the talent competition about his inappropriate online contact with minors and admitted to sexually-oriented chatting with other minors from the talent competition online.  Baker also admitted to having sent or trading sexually- oriented photos of himself or others during chats, and having solicited photos from at least ten children in the talent competition.  Baker obtained pornographic images over the Internet of at least one minor female, and used these images to establish a fictitious online personae for himself.  Using this false personae, Baker persuaded at least two other minor children to send him, via the Internet, images and videos of themselves engaging in sexually explicit conduct. 

During the analysis of Bakers' computer, a forensic examiner located several images and a video of a minor male engaging in sexually explicit conduct. 

“Mr. Baker abused his position as a talent judge and acting coach to pursue inappropriate relationships with minors,” said Shane Folden, deputy special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations Tampa, which oversees the agency’s Jacksonville office that conducted this investigation. “We urge parents to talk to their children about how to protect themselves from sexual predators, and if they are exploited, they should report it. There are dedicated law enforcement officers and special agents at all levels of government who will do something about it.  This case is testament to that. Mr. Baker will spend the next 25 years behind bars due to his actions.”

This case was investigated by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Jacksonville Sheriffs Office, the Orange County Sheriffs Office, the Osceola County Sheriffs Office, and the former Child Predator Cybercrime Unit of the Florida Attorney Generals Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney D. Rodney Brown.

It is another case 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 individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims.  For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."

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