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Oct. 26, 2009

CORPUS CHRISTI RESIDENT SENTENCED FOR RECEIPT AND DISTRIBUTION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

(CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas) – Steven Thomas Brunsma, 61, has been sentenced to 78 months in federal prison on child pornography charges, United States Attorney Tim Johnson announced today. The Corpus Christi resident previously pleaded guilty on July 29, 2009. The receipt and distribution of child pornography occurred between June 2008 and January 2009 and consisted of images of male minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

The investigation leading to the charges began in North Carolina in 2004 when child pornography was discovered on a computer owned by Brunsma which he had taken to a repair shop. Forensic analysis of that computer, first by state and later by federal authorities, revealed the existence of child pornography. While the forensic analysis was occurring in North Carolina, Brunsma relocated to Corpus Christi. Investigators with the FBI located him in March of 2009 and obtained his currently owned computers to search for child pornography. Forensic examination of Brunsma’s computers possessed at his Corpus Christi home led to the discovery of approximately 1200 suspected images of child pornography of which more than one thousand have been previously identified as real child victims by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Brunsma admitted to law enforcement that he had actively searched for child pornography via the internet.

Brunsma has remained in federal custody without bond since the date of his arrest on May 21, 2009, by order of the court.

In sentencing Brunsma, U.S. District Judge John D. Rainey explained the need to protect the community and discourage the manufacturing of child pornography by decreasing the consumers. Brunsma’s 7.5-year sentence will be followed by 10 years of supervised release and the requirement that he register as a sexual offender for life.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Lance Duke and 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, 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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