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Department of Justice
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Friday, August 27, 2010

California Man Charged with Attempting to Extort Sexually Explicit Images from Minor

WASHINGTON - A Fremont, Calif., man made his initial appearance in federal court today on charges that include distribution of child pornography, possession of child pornography and attempted extortion, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the U.S. Department of Justice Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California Melinda Haag.

According to an indictment dated June 24, 2010, and unsealed today, James Dale Brown, 27, is alleged to have used the Internet social networking website Facebook to communicate with a minor female identified as Jane Doe.  Operating under the username "Bob Lewis," Brown is alleged to have demanded that Jane Doe send him a video of herself engaging in sexually explicit conduct.  Brown is also alleged to have possessed and distributed child pornography. 

Brown was arrested in Fremont on Aug. 26, 2010, and made his initial appearance in federal court in Oakland, Calif., on Aug. 27, 2010. He is currently being held in North County Jail in Oakland. The defendant’s next scheduled appearance is at 9 a.m. on Sept. 3, 2010, for a detention hearing before Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler.

The mandatory penalty for distribution of child pornography is at least five years in prison and up to 20 years.  The maximum penalty for possession of child pornography is 10 years in prison and the maximum statutory penalty for attempted extortion is 20 years in prison.  Brown also faces maximum fines of $250,000 on each charged count, plus restitution if appropriate.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua Hill and Department of Justice Criminal Division Trial Attorney Mi Yung Park of the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, with the assistance of Jeanne Carstensen.  The prosecution is the result of a one-year investigation by the FBI.

Please note: An indictment contains only allegations against an individual and, as with all defendants, Brown must be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Press Release Number: 
Updated September 15, 2014