Project Safe Childhood is a unified and comprehensive strategy to combat child exploitation. Initiated in May, 2006, by the Department of Justice, Project Safe Childhood combines law enforcement efforts, community action, and public awareness. The goal of Project Safe Childhood is to reduce the incidence of sexual exploitation of children. There are five essential components to Project Safe Childhood: (1) building partnerships; (2) coordinating law enforcement; (3) training PSC partners; (4) public awareness; and (5) accountability.
Unfortunately, the threat against our children is growing. In February 2010, the Department, working with the National Drug Intelligence Center, completed a year long and first of its kind threat assessment of the magnitude of child exploitation. The result of this assessment reports a disturbing trend showing increases, and in some instances significant increases, in all types of child sexual exploitation, including: (1) child pornography; (2) online enticement of children for sexual purposes; (3) commercial sexual exploitation of children; and (4) child sex tourism.
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee is committed to the safety and well-being of our children and has placed a high priority on protecting and combating sexual exploitation of minors. Recently we received an additional position to help prosecute these crimes in our District. Some examples of the types of cases brought by our office through the Project Safe Childhood initiative include:
- Ronald Randolph Radford, 68, of Johnson City, Tenn., was sentenced in February 2015 to serve 15 years in prison followed by 10 years of supervised release with special conditions of release, Radford pleaded guilty in August 2014 to a federal grand jury indictment charging him with distributing, receiving, and possessing child pornography. http://www.justice.gov/usao-edtn/pr/ronald-randolph-radford-sentenced-15-years-prison-distributing-child-pornography
- In November 2014, Crystal Renee Dawn Poore, 32, of Elizabethton, Tenn., was sentenced to serve 27 years in federal prison for three counts of production of child pornography. Upon her release from prison, she will be on supervised release for the remainder of her life. http://www.justice.gov/usao-edtn/pr/crystal-renee-dawn-poore-sentence-27-years-prison-photographing-sex-acts-her-daughters
- James Glen Murphy, Jr., 31, of Bristol, Tenn., was sentenced in October 2014, to serve 27 years in prison for producing, distributing, and possessing child pornography. Upon his release from prison, he will serve a life term of supervised release with special conditions. http://www.justice.gov/usao-edtn/pr/james-glen-murphy-jr-sentenced-twenty-seven-years-prison-producing-child-pornography
- In September 2014, Richard Vatilla, 44, of Cleveland, Tenn., was sentenced to serve 120 months in federal prison for distribution of child pornography. Upon his release from prison, he will be subject to 10 years of supervised release and be required to register under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA). http://www.justice.gov/usao-edtn/pr/cleveland-man-sentenced-ten-years-distribution-child-pornography
For more information about the Project Safe Childhood Program please visit http://www.projectsafechildhood.gov.