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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, April 10, 2015

Federal Jury Finds Colorado Man Guilty of Kidnapping a Toddler and Producing Child Pornography

WASHINGTON – After a four-day jury trial, a Colorado man was convicted by a federal jury of kidnapping and producing child pornography involving two toddlers, Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

Shawn McCormack, 31, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, was found guilty of four counts of sexual exploitation of a child and two counts of kidnapping.

US Attorney Wagner stated, “Determined, skillful and cooperative investigative efforts by multiple agencies across the continent led law enforcement to this defendant’s door. We are gratified by today’s verdict, which we hope will provide a measure of justice to the victims, and serve as a warning to those who would seek to harm the most vulnerable among us.”

“Child pornography, when it’s released on the Internet, lives on forever,” said Michael Toms, resident agent in charge for HSI Bakersfield. “It haunts the innocent children whose abuse is depicted in the images, and brings unspeakable pain to their parents and families, knowing that untold strangers are exploiting their worst experiences for their own perverse pleasure. HSI will continue to work closely with its law enforcement partners across the country and around the globe to ensure that those who sexually exploit our children are brought to justice.”

According to evidence presented at trial, McCormack, feigning to be a friend, traveled to a couple’s residence in Bakersfield, California, and stayed as an overnight guest on multiple occasions. During several of the overnight stays, in the middle of the night, McCormack snuck the couple’s toddler out of the house and recorded his sexual abuse of the toddler in a nearby motel, outdoors and in his truck. McCormack then returned the toddler to the house before the parents awoke. The evidence demonstrated that McCormack distributed the images and videos of his abuse to others online, including an undercover officer with the Toronto Police Services.

According to the evidence presented at trial, Homeland Security Investigations agents in Boston found images and recordings distributed by McCormack on a separate defendant’s computer in Massachusetts. The agents were able to identify the date, time and hotel room where one of the videos had been produced. When agents visited that hotel, they learned that McCormack had rented that hotel room on the night when the recording was created. During the investigation, agents uncovered evidence that McCormack had recorded his abuse of both of the couple’s children.

McCormack is scheduled to be sentenced by Senior U.S. District Judge Anthony W. Ishii on July 27, 2015. McCormack faces a possible sentence of 15 to 30 years in prison for each count of production of child pornography, and 20 years to life in prison for each count of kidnapping. The sentence 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 is the product of an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) field offices in Bakersfield, California; Colorado Springs, Colorado; and Boston, Massachusetts, the Bakersfield Police Department, the Colorado Springs Police Department, and the Toronto Police Services. Trial Attorney Maureen C. Cain of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Patrick R. Delahunty and Megan A.S. Richards of the Eastern District of California prosecuted the case.

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 Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, 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.projectsafechildhood.gov.

Docket #: 1:11-cr-324-AWI

Updated April 16, 2015