United States Attorney’s Office Obtains Multi-Decade Sentences in Child Exploitation Cases
Spokane – On Wednesday, September 7, 2022, the United States Attorney’s Office obtained sentences of 20 and 15 years against two child exploitation defendants. Senior U.S. District Judge Rosanna Malouf Peterson sentenced Jessica Ann Barrington, 31, of Spokane, to 20 years in prison for sexually violating a three-year-old girl and sending images of that conduct to at least ten men she met online. Judge Peterson also sentenced Jason Dean Talbott, 44, of Spokane, to 15 years in prison for receiving child pornography in a secret lair that he created at a friend’s home – while he was on federal Supervised Release for a prior federal conviction for child pornography. When they are released from these lengthy terms, each defendant will be on federal supervision for the remainder of his or her life.
Documents and hearings associated with these cases revealed chilling conduct by the defendants.
Defendant Barrington sought out men online to exchange sexual images of minor girls, and to discuss plans for raping, torturing, and one day impregnating them. At one point she contacted a man online who ran a child pornography blog and used the handle “daddy4ltlgrl” and told him she had access to three little girls. When that man asked her if she “played” with them, Barrington sent him an image depicting a three-year-old’s genitals and followed that up with images depicting herself engaging in the sexual abuse of the girl. She later invited the man to come to Spokane from California, offering “to share them with you or just watch you with them.” She also offered to allow him to lock himself in a room with the children so he could rape them.
Defendant Talbott is a recidivist child pornography collector. In 2012, he was sentenced to 60 months in custody after he was convicted of Receipt of Child Pornography, in violation of federal law. In 2019, after he was released on his first conviction, he built a computer system in a room at a friend’s house and downloaded significant new quantities of child pornography. A search of his digital devices revealed that he had been collecting child pornography since as early as 2001, both before and after his first prison term. On December 30, 2019, Talbott was arrested by the FBI on an airplane that had just landed at Spokane International Airport after a flight from Denver. In addition to a huge quantity of child pornography stashed at his secret computer lair, Talbott also had child pornography on his person, in his luggage, and in his car.
“The FBI and the United States Attorney’s Office stand ready to respond with thorough investigations, aggressive prosecutions, and significant sentences for anyone who abuses children,” said Vanessa R. Waldref, United States Attorney for the Eastern District. “Although no sentence can give these children back their innocence, our community is safer with these criminals behind bars.” U.S. Attorney Waldref also emphasized that these crimes involve vulnerable victims: “In one case today, the victim was only three years old, and in the other, there were thousands of child victims whose trauma and abuse was recorded so it can circulate online forever. Today’s sentences send a clear message to those who seek to abuse children, whether behind closed doors or computer screens: justice is coming, and the consequences of abusing children will be severe.”
David M. Herzog, the Assistant United States Attorney who prosecuted the cases, thanked numerous agencies responsible for securing justice. “FBI worked hand-in-hand with state and local law enforcement in each of these cases, along with members of the United States Probation Office. I am particularly grateful to the Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office, which was in lockstep with the U.S. Attorney’s Office throughout. Seamless cooperation across law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies allows us to reach fair global resolutions that will protect this community for decades.”
“I am heartbroken at the unspeakable horror these children endured, including from adults who should have protected them,” said Richard A. Collodi, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Seattle field office. “While nothing can reverse the harm to the victims, we hope these sentences send a strong message to would-be child abusers and bring our community peace of mind.”
This case was pursued as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the United States 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 individuals, who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. The Project Safe Childhood Initiative (“PSC”) has five major components:
· Integrated federal, state, and local efforts to investigate and prosecute child exploitation cases, and to identify and rescue children;
· Participation of PSC partners in coordinated national initiatives;
· Increased federal enforcement in child pornography and enticement cases;
· Training of federal, state, and local law enforcement agents; and
· Community awareness and educational programs.
These cases were investigated by the FBI’s Spokane Resident Office and the Spokane Police Department, with significant assistance from the United States Marshal’s Service and the United States Probation Office. The cases were prosecuted by David M. Herzog, Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington.