News and Press Releases

Safeway Store Employee had used Camera Phone to Take Picture of Child in Restroom

July 7, 2006

BENJAMIN P. O’BRYANT, 26, of Vancouver, Washington was sentenced today to 24 months in prison and three years of supervised release for Possession of Child Pornography. In sentencing O’BRYANT, U.S. District Judge Ronald B. Leighton recommended O’BRYANT serve his sentence at the federal prison in Butner, North Carolina because of the sex offender treatment program offered there. Judge Leighton said the Butner program was O’BRYANT’s best chance at rehabilitation.

O’BRYANT came to the attention of authorities on April 15, 2005 when he left his cell phone in the break room at the Safeway store where he worked. In trying to determine the cell phone’s owner, a co-worker scrolled through the pictures on the phone. There were a number of pictures showing children in the store. One of them showed a young boy using the urinal in the store restroom. After determining the phone belonged to O’BRYANT the Safeway worker called Vancouver Police.

A police officer took O’BRYANT home and, with the permission of O’BRYANT and his parents, took his computer for forensic analysis. On the computer investigators found more than 2,000 photos showing child pornography and 26 movies of child pornography. Some of them showed sexual torture of young children.

In arguing for a significant prison sentence, Assistant United States Attorney Mike Dion wrote to the court that O’BRYANT poses a threat to children. Dion noted that by taking the picture of the undressed boy in the store restroom, O’BRYANT was moving beyond observing child pornography to exploiting a child for sexual purposes.

Judge Leighton noted that child pornography does “significant damage and degrades people.”

The case was investigated by the Vancouver Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael Dion.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110.

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