Skip to main content
Press Release

Marysville Man Pleads Guilty to Child Exploitation Charges

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Brent Hooton, 50, of Marysville, pleaded guilty today to sexual exploitation of a child and distribution of child pornography, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

According to court documents, in May 2021, Hooton produced images of a child under the age of 12 engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Hooton then distributed those images to other users over the Kik messaging app.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Audrey Hemesath and Denise Yasinow are prosecuting the case.

Hooton is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 12, 2023, by U.S. District Judge Dale A. Drozd. Hooton faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison, a maximum statutory penalty of 30 years in prison on the sexual exploitation of a child count, and a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison, a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison on the distribution of child pornography count. 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 Click on the “resources” tab for information about internet-safety education.

Updated May 30, 2023

Project Safe Childhood