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FRESNO, Calif. —Christopher David Robinette, 43, of Amsterdam, Netherlands, pleaded guilty today to nine counts related to the sexual exploitation of a minor, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
Robinette, who is a United States citizen, pleaded guilty to eight counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and one count of transporting a minor in interstate or foreign commerce for purposes of engaging in criminal sexual activity. According to court documents, Robinette traveled on dates between September 2004 and August 2006 from various locations to the Fresno area to sexually exploit a minor and produce digital still and video images of the abuse. The sexual abuse took place in California, including the Fresno area, as well as in Mexico and Costa Rica. Robinette’s crimes were detected shortly after he uploaded images of child pornography, including images he produced, to a Microsoft SkyDrive account.
Robinette is scheduled for sentencing on July 14, 2014, by Senior United States District Judge Anthony W. Ishii. Robinette faces potential prison terms of 15 to 30 years for each sexual exploitation count and 10 years to life for transportation of a minor. For all counts, there is a potential $250,000 fine, and a lifetime term of supervised release. 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.
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children in Alexandria, Virginia assisted in coordinating information for a law enforcement response. This case is the product of an investigation by the Korps Landelijke Politie Diensten (Dutch National Police), the Amsterdam Amstelland Police Department (Amsterdam local police) with assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s offices in The Hague and Amsterdam, Washington, D.C., and Fresno as well as the Fresno Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney David Gappa and Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) Trial Attorney Maureen Cain are prosecuting the case.
The United States Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs and CEOS, as well as the Dutch Ministry of Justice, assisted in coordinating Robinette’s extradition to Fresno. The United States Marshals Service returned Robinette to Fresno, and he has been detained as a flight risk and danger to the community since his initial court appearance on December 26, 2012.
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 education.