PRODUCER OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY GETS 189 MONTHS
Two Children Rescued
Robert William Hull, 35, of Nampa, Idaho, was sentenced in federal court in Boise today to 189 months in prison followed by ten years of supervised release for sexual exploitation of children, announced U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson. Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill also fined Hull $1,500.
Hull pleaded guilty to the charge on March 1, 2011. According to court documents, during November 2010, detectives with the Saskatoon Police Service, Saskatchewan, Canada, conducted an Internet child exploitation investigation involving a suspect located in Saskatchewan. A search warrant was executed at the suspect's residence in Saskatoon where several items were seized. Investigators determined that several online accounts were used to distribute sexually explicit images of minors and communicate with other persons involved with child sexual exploitation.
In November 2010, investigators found that several messages had been exchanged between the Saskatchewan suspect and a user with an AOL e-mail address and mobile phone account associated with an Idaho 208 area code. Analysis of the messages showed that pornographic images were attached of a child approximately four years old. In late November 2010, an investigation was initiated by the Idaho Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force into possible production and trafficking in sexually explicit images of minors between the Saskatchewan suspect and an unknown individual in Nampa, Idaho, who investigators later found to be Robert William Hull. On December 2, 2010, a search warrant was executed at Hull's home. Hull admitted taking sexually explicit photographs of the four-year-old, who was the daughter of a relative. He admitted taking 30 to 40 photographs of the girl using his phone, and sending some of the images to persons in Canada and the United Kingdom.
Further investigation into materials found on Hull’s electronic media led to the arrest of a 41-year-old man in Prince George, British Columbia, for making or publishing child pornography. A seven-year-old child, whose images were found among the child pornography photos on Hull’s media, was rescued by Canadian authorities as a direct result of the Hull investigation.
The Idaho portion of the case was investigated by the Idaho Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Program (ICAC) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Boise.
“Children anywhere in the world should be allowed to grow up without the threat of fear of being sexually exploited by those who are involved in the underworld of child pornography,” said Brad Bench, deputy special agent in charge of HSI in Idaho. “This prison sentence ensures that the defendant is no longer a threat to innocent children and the public. Investigating this type of crime continues to be a high priority for HSI.”
“Protecting our children is a goal shared by all law enforcement and prosecutors,” said Olson. “The international law enforcement cooperation in this case both ensured that child sexual predators were caught and rescued two children from horrific abuse. We will continue to cooperate with our state, local and international partners and to use all of our resources to bring to justice those who seek to harm children.”
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is a collaborative effort by federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and communities to prevent and deter gun violence.