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FRESNO, Calif. — A U.S. citizen living in Amsterdam, Netherlands, was sentenced today to serve 35 years in prison for sexually exploiting a minor living in California and producing images of that abuse.
Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner for the Eastern District of California and Acting Assistant Director in Charge Timothy Gallagher of the FBI’s Washington Field Office made the announcement.
Christopher David Robinette, 44, pleaded guilty on April 21, 2014, 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, between September 2004 and August 2006, Robinette traveled to Fresno, California, 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 Nevada, 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 was extradited from the Netherlands to face charges in the Eastern District of California.
At sentencing before Senior U.S. District Judge Anthony W. Ishii of the Eastern District of California, Robinette was ordered to serve a lifetime term of supervised release, during which his access to computers, the Internet and minors will be restricted, and he will be obligated to register as a sex offender.
“Protecting the most vulnerable Americans is a national Department of Justice priority,” said U.S. Attorney Wagner. “None are as vulnerable as our children, and this office will continue to pursue those who abuse and exploit them even if that pursuit takes us to other continents. The harshest penalties are reserved for the most severe criminal conduct, and Mr. Robinette’s conduct fully warranted the lengthy prison sentence imposed today.”
“Robinette’s sentence ensures that he cannot victimize another child, but no sentence can erase the crimes that have occurred or restore his victim’s stolen innocence. No child should ever be victimized by such abuse and exploitation,” said Special Agent in Charge Monica M. Miller of the FBI’s Sacramento Field Office. “We thank all of our law enforcement partners including the Fresno Police Department, a member of the Fresno Child Exploitation Task Force, for their assistance with this investigation and continued partnership.”This case was investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, FBI’s Sacramento Division, and FBI in The Hague, Netherlands, with assistance from the Korps Landelijke Politie Diensten (Dutch National Police), the Amsterdam Amstelland Police Department (Amsterdam local police); and the Fresno Police Department. The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children assisted in coordinating information for a law enforcement response. The case was prosecuted by Trial Attorney Maureen Cain of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) and Assistant U.S. Attorney David Gappa of the Eastern District of California.
The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs and CEOS, as well as the Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice, assisted in coordinating Robinette’s extradition to Fresno. The U.S. 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 to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), 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.