BOISE – Benjamin Morton, 39, of Nampa, was sentenced to 360 months in federal prison for sexual exploitation of a child, U.S. Attorney Josh Hurwit announced today.
According to court records, the investigation began when the Boise Police Department (BPD) received information that an adult male, pretending to be a juvenile online, had arranged to meet the 14-year-old victim. BPD later identified Morton as the suspect and determined that he had sexually abused the victim on two occasions and used his cellphone to record some of the abuse. BPD obtained a search warrant for one of Morton’s social media accounts and located a video that Morton had produced of himself engaging the victim in sexual contact. Within the account, BPD also located evidence that Morton had attempted to communicate with other juveniles. Morton was previously convicted in Canyon County of battery with intent to commit lewd conduct with a minor.
Chief U.S. District Judge David C. Nye also sentenced Morton to a lifetime of supervised release and entered an order forfeiting the cellphone he used to commit the offense. Morton will be required to register as a sex offender as a result of the conviction.
U.S. Attorney Hurwit commended the cooperative efforts of the Boise Police Department and the Nampa Police Department, which led to charges.
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. Attorneys’ Offices and 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.justice.gov/psc.
Public Information Officer