Butte County Man Pleads Guilty To Child Pornography Offense
SACRAMENTO, Calif. —Keith Joseph Banning, 59, of Magalia, pleaded guilty today to receipt of child pornography, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
According to court documents, an undercover investigation revealed that in June through August of 2012, an Internet user at Banning’s home address was using a peer-to-peer file-sharing network to share pictures and videos depicting the sexual exploitation of children, including a number of videos involving children under the age of 10. A search warrant executed at Banning’s home revealed that his computers contained hundreds of videos depicting the sexual abuse of children, and that at various times many of those videos were made available to others over the Internet through a file-sharing network.
This case is the product of an investigation by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). Assistant United States Attorney Matthew G. Morris is prosecuting the case.
Banning is scheduled to be sentenced on August 4, 2015, by United States District Judge John A. Mendez. Banning faces a possible sentence of five to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute those who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc. Click on the “resources” tab for information about Internet safety.