Three Defendants Sentenced for Unrelated Child Pornography Crimes
DENVER – Three defendants were sentenced this week for unrelated child pornography crimes, Acting U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer announced. The three cases were investigated by the FBI and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).
In the U.S. v. Paul Lee, the defendant, age 54, of Parker, Colorado, was sentenced to serve 10 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to Access With Intent to View child pornography. This is the first time in Colorado that this statute was used. Lee’s case was heard by U.S. District Court Judge Christine M. Arguello. The defendant purchased a Chromebook in the summer of 2016 so he could access child pornography. During this time, Lee was on probation in Adams County for Attempted Sexual Exploitation of a Child. According to his plea agreement, he searched the internet for child pornography involving boys 12 to 15, downloading videos on average of three times per week.
In the U.S. v. Sharee Equdzi-Acquah, the defendant, age 48, of Westminster, Colorado, was sentenced to serve 10 years in federal prison by U.S. District Court Judge Philip A. Brimmer after pleading guilty to possession of child pornography. The defendant traded child pornography with multiple other like-minded people using an application on her cellular telephones. The defendant shared dozens of images of child pornography online. She also engaged in graphic chats with others about having sex with children. The defendant chatted with a man about having a child they could molest together. The defendant used cloud storage, foreign emails, and foreign cloud storage – in both New Zealand and in Russia.
In the U.S. v. Damian Smith, the defendant, age 44, of Denver, Colorado, was sentenced to serve 97 months in federal prison by U.S. District Court Judge Christine M. Arguello after pleading guilty to possession of child pornography. An FBI agent working in an undercover capacity online was able to successfully connect to the defendant’s computer and download hundreds of child pornography files that he made available for sharing. Smith had been looking at and downloading child pornography for over 10 years. He logged in daily, indiscriminately downloading all ages of child pornography, from toddler porn to granny porn. His laptop had over 160,000 images and 1,032 videos. A hard drive also belonging to Smith had over 15,000 images of child pornography.
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office continues to work with our partners, including the FBI, to protect our children from online predators,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer. “The three defendants sentenced this week show our continued commitment to this important mission.”
“This week’s sentences handed down represent the FBI’s dedication to pursuing those intent on harming children,” said FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge Calvin Shivers. “The identification and apprehension of child predators roaming our communities is a priority for the FBI. These cases should serve as a deterrent to those who utilize the Internet to promote the victimization of children.”
The defendants in these cases were prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Valeria Spencer, assigned to the Cybercrime and National Security Section of Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Colorado. These cases were brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation. 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.