Ware Man Pleads Guilty to Sexual Exploitation Charges
BOSTON – A Ware man pleaded guilty today in federal court in Springfield after being charged with sexual exploitation charges.
Walter Brown, 74, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit sexual exploitation of a child, two counts of sexual exploitation of a child, one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking and two counts of sex trafficking. U.S. District Court Judge Mark G. Mastroianni scheduled sentencing for Jan. 22, 2020. Brown was arrested on July 14, 2017, and has been detained since that time.
On Oct 11, 2019, co-defendant Claire Poole was sentenced to 125 months in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit sex trafficking and two counts of sex trafficking.
Poole moved to the Springfield area in early 2017 and later helped co-defendant Walter Brown have sex with a teenage girl. Brown induced the girl to provide pornographic videos and to have sex with him on two occasions by paying her money. Poole acted as a go-between, first by conveying Brown’s initial offer to the girl and then by relaying Brown’s messages to the victim, which included negotiations about what Brown would pay. Poole also provided a cell phone to produce the pornographic videos, and Poole transported the minor to Brown’s house in Ware for sex on two occasions.
The sex trafficking charges provide for a minimum mandatory sentence of 10 years and up to a lifetime in prison, a minimum of five years and up to a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. The charges of sexual exploitation of a child provide for a minimum mandatory sentence of 15 years and up to 30 years in prison, a minimum of five years and up to a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Andrew E. Lelling; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; Colonel Kerry A. Gilpin, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; Ware Police Chief Shawn Crevier; Monson Police Chief Stephen Kozloski; and Amherst Police Chief Scott Livingstone made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Alex J. Grant of Lelling’s Springfield Branch Office is prosecuting the case.
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 the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the DOJ’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.