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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Columbia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 16, 2016

District Man Sentenced to 21 Years in Prison For Child Pornography and Sexual Abuse Charges

Defendant Sexually Abused Teenage Boy, Took Photos

            WASHINGTON – Franklin “Giovanni” Torres, 33, of Washington, D.C., has been sentenced to 21 years in prison on child pornography and sexual abuse charges involving a teenage boy, U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips, Paul M. Abbate, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, and Cathy L. Lanier, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), announced today.

            Torres was found guilty by a jury on March 11, 2016, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, of production of child pornography, distribution of child pornography, possession of child pornography, and first-degree sexual abuse of a minor. He was sentenced on June 15, 2016, by the Honorable Senior Judge Ellen S. Huvelle. Following completion of his prison term, he will be placed on supervised release for the rest of his life.

            According to the government’s evidence, Torres resided from January 2014 until April 2015 with the victim’s family at an apartment in Northwest Washington. The victim, a teenage boy, had only been in the U.S. for less than two years since immigrating from El Salvador and reuniting with his parents, who had come to the U.S. several years earlier, planning to obtain jobs and then send for their son. The boy’s parents allowed Torres to stay in their apartment after he lost his job and needed a place to stay. After Torres was living with the family for several months, the victim’s mother discovered a naked photo of a male child with his face obscured on the defendant’s Facebook page.  The boy in the photo turned out to be the victim, and the photo was taken by Torres during an incident in which Torres had sexually abused him.

            Shortly after the victim’s mother confronted Torres about the photo, he deleted it from Facebook and apologized to her.  The victim’s mother later surreptitiously obtained a copy of the deleted photo from Torres’s cell phone, and she found additional naked photos of the victim.  She and her son reported the activities to the police several months later, after Torres moved out of their apartment. The boy also revealed to police that Torres sexually abused him.

            This case was brought as part of the Department of Justice's Project Safe Childhood initiative and investigated by the FBI's Child Exploitation Task Force, which includes members of the FBI's Washington Field Office and MPD.  In February 2006, the Attorney General created Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse.  Led by the U.S. Attorney's Offices, 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 identify and rescue victims.  For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov

            In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Phillips, Assistant Director in Charge Abbate, and Chief Lanier commended the work of those who investigated the case from the FBI's Child Exploitation Task Force, which includes members of the FBI's Washington Field Office and MPD.  They also acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialists Joyce Arthur and Troy Griffith; Information Technology Specialists Anisha Bhatia and Aneela Bhatia, Criminal Investigator John Marsh, and Victim/Witness Advocate Yvonne Bryant. Finally, they expressed appreciation for the work of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andrea L. Hertzfeld and Denise A. Simmonds, who prosecuted the case.

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Topic: 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated June 16, 2016