MESQUITE MAN INDICTED FOR ADVERTISING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
Defendant Also Faces Transporting, Shipping and Possession of Child Pornography Charges
DALLAS — A federal grand jury in Dallas returned a six-count indictment yesterday charging Mesquite, Texas, resident, Jonathan Ryan Vittitow with various child pornography offenses. Vittitow, 28, has been in federal custody since his arrest last week on related charges outlined in a criminal complaint. The announcement was made today by U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.
Specifically, the indictment charges Vittitow with three counts of advertising child pornography, two counts of transporting and shipping child pornography and one count of possessing child pornography. The indictment alleges that Vittitow used peer-to-peer file-sharing software to: 1) seek, and offer to receive, child pornography videos and images of boys age six and under; 2) advertise files available for sharing that included child pornography of minor girls and other preteen children; and 3) seek, and offer to receive, videos and images of a series of child pornography known as “Mr. Wolf.” In addition, the indictment alleges that Vittitow used the Internet and file-sharing software to share and transmit image and video files depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct and that he possessed a computer hard drive containing images of child pornography.
An indictment is an accusation by a federal grand jury and a defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence unless proven guilty. However, if convicted, each of the advertising of child pornography counts carries a statutory sentence of not less than 15 years or more than 30 years in prison, up to a $250,000 fine and up to a lifetime of supervised release. Each of the transporting and shipping counts carries a statutory sentence of not less than five years or more than 20 years in prison, up to a $250,000 fine and up to a lifetime of supervised release. The possession count carries a maximum statutory sentence of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and a lifetime of supervised release. In addition, if convicted, Vittitow will also be required to register as a sex offender.
This case was 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 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 http://www.justice.gov/psc.
The case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Plano Police Department.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Camille Sparks is in charge of the prosecution.
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