Madera County Woman Pleads Guilty to Aiding and Abetting Production of Child Pornography
A Madera County woman pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting the production of child pornography today, announced Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney McGregor Scott of the Eastern District of California.
Ashley Maddox, 32, pleaded guilty to one count of aiding and abetting the production of child pornography before U.S. District Court Judge Dale A. Drozd. Sentencing is set for August 26.
According to admissions made in connection with her guilty plea, Maddox was initially identified in the course of a child pornography investigation into a separate target in Florida. An examination of the Florida target’s electronic devices revealed that between November 2015 and April 2016, he and Maddox had communicated via the internet and mobile-based applications about their mutual sexual interest in minors. In the course of these communications, Maddox requested that this individual send her images and video recordings which depicted the Florida man sexually abusing a prepubescent minor victim. Maddox received from him over 20 images and videos that depicted the minor victim engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Maddox also created and sent to this individual images and videos depicting a prepubescent minor.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Central California Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force, a federally and state-funded task force with agents from federal, state and local agencies. The Central California ICAC investigates online child exploitation crimes, including child pornography, enticement and sex trafficking. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents in Fresno, California, and Fort Pierce, Florida, investigated this case. The Madera County Sheriff’s Office assisted early in the investigation.
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 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and 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.justice.gov/psc.