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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Idaho

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 15, 2015

Oakley Man Pleads Guilty to Attempted Sexual Exploitation of a Minor Child

Defendant Admits he Attempted to Produce Child Pornography

Defendant Admits he Attempted to Produce Child Pornography

POCATELLO - Ray Carl Short, 66, of Oakley, Idaho, pleaded guilty today to attempted sexual exploitation of a minor child, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced.  Olson said that as a part of his plea, Short admitted using a hidden security camera to attempt to capture images of a minor victim engaged in sexually explicit conduct.  Short was charged by Information in Pocatello on December 22, 2014.

According to the plea agreement, a special agent with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Wilmington, Delaware, utilized a covert account on a peer-to-peer network to download 26 child pornography images and videos from Short in January 2014.  In July, law enforcement agents searched Short’s residence pursuant to a federal search warrant and seized a laptop computer, a Brickhouse Security camera, and other related items.  A forensic analysis of the laptop and other electronic media revealed approximately 2,934 images and 144 video files of suspected child pornography.  The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children identified the victims in 345 of the images, 16 of the video files, and in 64 documented “Series” of child pornography.

In a folder located on Short’s computer hard drive and named for an additional minor victim, law enforcement agents found six video files and nine image files of the victim, several of which depicted the minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct.  Additional similar videos and images of the victim were located in sub-folders.  A review of the security camera’s memory card revealed recently recorded video files of the victim nude and getting ready for bed, and of the defendant placing the camera in, and retrieving it from, concealed locations of the victim’s bedroom.

On the day of the search warrant execution, Short admitted to having downloaded and received images that would be illegal or constitute child pornography and that there were images of child pornography on his laptop.  In court, Short also admitted that he placed the Brickhouse camera in hidden locations in order to use the victim to take part in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing visual depictions of such conduct.

The charge of attempted sexual exploitation of a minor is punishable by 15 to 30 years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, and a term of supervised release of five years to life.

Sentencing is set for April 8, 2015, before U.S. Chief District Judge B. Lynn Winmill at the federal courthouse in Pocatello.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), with the assistance of the Cassia County Sheriff’s Office and Cassia County Prosecutor’s Office.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the 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.  For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc.  For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Updated January 15, 2015