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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, July 8, 2022

Cleveland, Ohio Man Pleads Guilty to Producing Files Depicting the Sexual Victimization of Children and Extorting 11-Year-Old Female to Send Sexually Explicit Depictions

NEW ORLEANS –  U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that JAVAN BAILEY, age 20, a resident of Cleveland, Ohio, pleaded guilty as charged on June 7, 2022 before United States District Judge Carl J. Barbier after previously being charged  in a two-count indictment with producing images and videos depicting the sexual exploitation of an eleven-year-old female, Victim 1, in violation of 18 U.S.C. ' 2251(a), and transmitting interstate threats for the purpose of extorting a thing of value, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 875(d). 

According to court documents, BAILEY met Victim 1, a New Orleans resident born in about October 2009, in a social media service that specialized in the hosting and presentation of short-form videos hosted by its users in about February 2021.  BAILEY pretended to be a minor female and communicated with Victim 1 about twerking videos.  After moving the conversation to a text-based platform, BAILEY sent Victim 1 a video of a juvenile female twerking and engaging in sexually explicit conduct.  BAILEY then instructed Victim 1 to send him a video of Victim 1 engaging in sexually explicit conduct or else BAILEY would post the video he sent Victim 1 on social media platforms and say the video was of Victim 1.  Victim 1 complied.  For the next three months, BAILEY continued to direct Victim 1 to record and send him increasingly explicit content, while threatening to release the prior content if Victim 1 refused. 

On about May 27, 2021, law enforcement authorities executed a search warrant on BAILEY’S residence in Cleveland, Ohio, during which they seized BAILEY’s cellular telephone.  A digital media search revealed that between about November 2019 and May 2021, BAILEY sought and obtained depictions of dozens of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct using the same extortionate scheme he employed to obtain sexually explicit material from Victim 1.  Additionally, BAILEY sold the sexually explicit depictions he received of minors by charging approximately $30 in exchange for sharing a link to the content.  BAILEY sold the link dozens of times.

Attempts to identify and notify victims are ongoing.  If you believe you are a victim of these criminal activities, or know someone who is, please contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324), and reference this case.

BAILEY faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of fifteen (15) years and a maximum term of imprisonment of thirty-two (32) years.  BAILEY also faces a lifetime of supervised release, up to a $250,000 fine, a mandatory special assessment fee of $200 and he can be required to register as a sex offender.  Sentencing before Judge Barbier has been scheduled for October 13, 2022.

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 United States Attorneys' 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.

U.S. Attorney Evans praised the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in investigating this matter.  Assistant United States Attorney Jordan Ginsberg is in charge of the prosecution.

Updated July 8, 2022