FORT WALTON BEACH MAN SENTENCED FOR FEDERAL CHILD PORNOGRAPHY OFFENSES
PENSACOLA, FLORIDA – Branden M. Scott, 29, of Fort Walton Beach, was sentenced in federal court on Thursday for charges regarding the online exploitation of children, announced United States Attorney Pamela C. Marsh, Northern District of Florida.
The charges stemmed from an undercover operation, in which it was learned that Scott utilized the Internet to share hundreds of graphic images of prepubescent children engaged in sexual activity. Some of these images involved infants engaged in such acts. Also during this time frame, Scott engaged in online “chat,” in which he discussed his desire to engage in sex acts with a teenage family member. A federal search warrant was executed on his residence earlier this year by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, along with other members of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and the evidence seized from his residence confirmed such activity. Scott was actively online at the time law enforcement entered his residence to execute the warrant.
Chief United States District Judge M. Casey Rodgers observed during sentencing that the graphic nature of the “chat” provided insight into Scott’s thoughts. Scott was held responsible for possessing over 95,000 images and videos of child pornography, and Judge Rodgers particularly noted this included images of “infants in bondage and distress.” Scott was sentenced to fifteen (15) years in federal prison to be followed by twenty (20) years of supervised release. Scott will also have to register as a sex offender.
In announcing the sentence imposed by the Court, U.S. Attorney Pamela Marsh stated: “Fighting child exploitation is one of the highest priorities of the Department of Justice. Crimes that victimize children are devastating to individuals and families. The efforts that resulted in this sentence demonstrate the commitment of law enforcement to fully prosecuting sexual offenders who use sophisticated technology to prey upon their innocent victims.”
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched by the Department of Justice in May 2006 to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by 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 exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David L. Goldberg of the Northern District of Florida.