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Trial Date Set for Carbon Cliff Man Charged with Sexual Exploitation of a Minor

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 27, 2013

Rock Island, Ill. — Daniel William Becker, Jr., 21, of Carbon Cliff, Ill., appeared in federal court today for arraignment on an indictment charging him with a single count of sexual exploitation of a minor on or about Sept. 13, 2012. The indictment, returned by the grand jury on Mar. 20, 2013, also seeks the criminal forfeiture of Becker’s computer, cell phone, and his residence in Carbon Cliff, alleging that said items were used in the commission of the alleged offense. Becker entered a plea of not guilty and the case was set for jury trial on May 20, 2013.

Becker was previously arrested and charged with the same offense in a criminal complaint on Mar. 4, 2013. At a hearing on Mar. 6, U.S. District Court Judge Sara Darrow ordered that Becker be detained in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service pending trial.

The affidavit filed in support of the complaint alleges that Becker blackmailed minor females via online social networking websites into sending him photographs and videos of the girls engaged in sexually explicit acts. According to the affidavit, Becker threatened the girls by informing them that he would publicly post compromising photographs of the girls online unless the girls produced and sent additional photographs to him.

If convicted, the statutory penalty for sexual exploitation of a minor in the production of child pornography is not less than 15 years in prison and up to 30 years in prison. The offense also carries a term of supervised release of up to life following any term of imprisonment.

The charge is the result of an investigation by the U.S. Secret Service’s Quad Cities Cyber-Crime Unit and the Moline Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kirk W. Schuler is prosecuting the case.

Members of the public are reminded that an indictment is merely an accusation; the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

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 via the Internet as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

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