SLIDELL MAN INDICTED FOR DISTRIBUTING AND RECEIVING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
FORREST B. SMITH, 76, of Slidell, Louisiana, was indicted by a federal grand jury today for crimes involving the sexual exploitation of children, announced U. S. Attorney Jim Letten.. The four-count indictment charged SMITH with two counts of distributing, one count of receiving, and one count of possessing images depicting the sexual exploitation and victimization of children.
According to the indictment, SMITH downloaded over 12,000 images and 1,000 videos depicting minors, including infants, engaged in sexually explicit conduct. SMITH then shared, or distributed, some of these images to others between July 2007 and October 2010. Additionally, SMITH allegedly created multiple fake profiles on social networking websites in which he represented himself to be juveniles, and he used the profiles to join various “groups” geared towards minors.
If convicted, SMITH faces a mandatory of twenty (20) years imprisonment, followed by up to a lifetime term of supervised release, a $250,000.00 fine for each of the three counts of distribution and receipt of child pornography. Additionally, SMITH faces a maximum penalty of ten (10) years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and a lifetime term of supervised release for the count charging him with possession of child pornography. SMITH can also be required to register as a sex offender.
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 United States 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.
United States Attorney Letten reiterated that the indictment is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The prosecution of this case is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney Jordan Ginsberg.
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