Project Safe Childhood Operation Announced Following Indiana Man’s Guilty Plea to Multiple Child Exploitation Offenses
20 Individuals Apprehended in the United States and Abroad as a Result of the Operation
WASHINGTON – David R. Bostic, of Bloomington, Ind., pleaded guilty today to multiple charges of sexual exploitation of children relating to his participation in an international conspiracy to sexually exploit children through the trading of child pornography, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Joseph H. Hogsett of the Southern District of Indiana and Michael Welch, Special Agent in Charge for the FBI’s Indianapolis Division. To date, a related operation has led to the identification and apprehension of 20 suspects in the United States and abroad and the rescue of more than a dozen children.
Bostic, 25, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson in the Southern District of Indiana. Law enforcement agents arrested Bostic on Nov. 17, 2010, following the execution of a search warrant at his residence in Bloomington, which uncovered evidence that Bostic produced child pornography and was a member of a group that traded sexually explicit images of children, primarily babies and toddlers. Within days of his arrest, an operation was launched to identify and apprehend other members of the group.
According to court documents, Bostic engaged in the sexual exploitation of children on multiple occasions to produce sexually explicit images of the minors, including four females, between the ages of two months and three years, as well as a male who was four years old. Bostic distributed the images to the group with whom he traded child pornography.
“David Bostic and his co-conspirators committed horrific acts of abuse and exploitation against infants and toddlers, and then distributed images of these acts to others around the world,” said Assistant Attorney General Breuer. “The crimes to which Mr. Bostic pleaded guilty today are among the most heinous imaginable, and we are aggressively pursuing others in connection with this operation. We will deal swiftly and harshly with predators who exploit the most vulnerable in our society.”
“Among the most important missions of this office is to keep Hoosier children safe from those who would prey upon them,” said U.S. Attorney Hogsett. “The production of child pornography is a heinous crime against a child, because it perpetuates the sexual abuse of that child for as long as the images exist, particularly where, as here, the images are distributed to like minded individuals. This then fuels the twisted fantasies of those individuals, and endangers children around them.”
“This investigation required the cooperation of local, state, federal and international law enforcement partners,” said Special Agent in Charge Welch. “These partners will continue to aggressively pursue those who would do harm to the most innocent victims of all and to ensure there is no safe haven on the internet for pedophiles.”
Bostic is charged in two separate cases filed under seal in February 2011 and unsealed today at his plea hearing. A criminal information charges Bostic with 36 counts of the sexual exploitation of children for his production of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. An indictment charges Bostic with one count of conspiracy to distribute child pornography, one count of conspiracy to sexually exploit children through the international trading of child pornography, 22 counts of distribution of child pornography and five counts of sexual exploitation of children. The indictment also charges Domminich Shaw, 31, a resident of the United Kingdom; Richard Szulborski, 20, of East Texas, Penn.; Shaun Kuykendall, 32, of Summerville, S.C.; and two other individuals currently charged only as Person 1 and Person 3.
Bostic pleaded guilty to all counts in the criminal information and indictment. Bostic faces a minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and maximum sentence of 30 years in prison for each count of sexual exploitation of children and conspiracy to commit sexual exploitation of children, 10 years in prison for each count of possession of child pornography, and 20 years in prison for each count of distribution of child pornography and conspiracy to distribute child pornography. Bostic also faces a lifetime of supervised release and up to a $250,000 fine.
The other defendants charged in the indictment are pending trial. They are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Steven D. DeBrota and A. Brant Cook of the Southern District of Indiana and Trial Attorney Michael Grant of the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. The case was investigated by the FBI; the Indiana State Police; the Kokomo, Ind., Police Department; and the Brownsburg, Ind., Police Department.
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 the Criminal Division’s CEOS, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov .