West Springfield Man Pleads Guilty to 19 Counts of Child Exploitation
Defendant traded videos and photos of himself sexually abusing five-year-old girl
BOSTON – A West Springfield man pleaded guilty today in federal court in Springfield to various charges of sexual exploitation of children, including producing child pornography by video recording and photographing himself sexually abusing a five-year-old girl.
Justin Germaine, 27, pleaded guilty to five counts of sexual exploitation of a child, eight counts of distribution of child pornography, five counts of receipt of child pornography, and one count of possession of child pornography.
U.S. District Court Judge Mark G. Mastroianni scheduled sentencing for Feb. 8, 2018. If the plea agreement reached by the parties is accepted by the Court, Germaine will be sentenced to 30 years in prison and 20 years of supervised release. Germaine has been in custody since he was arrested in July 2016.
On various occasions between November 2015 and June 2016, Germaine took sexually explicit photos of a five-year-old girl and documented himself sexually abusing the child. Between March 2016 and July 2016, Germaine traded the photo files he created over the internet in exchange for other images and videos of child pornography. Germaine also exchanged emails with an individual in New Hampshire, in which the two discussed having sex with children and trading child pornography. Attached to these emails were pictures of children, many between the ages of three and six-years-old, being sexually abused and exploited by men.
The charge of sexual exploitation of children provides for a sentence of no greater than 30 years in prison, a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. The charges of receipt and distribution of child pornography each provide for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. The charge of possession of child pornography provides for a sentence of no greater than 10 years in prison, a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Acting United States Attorney William D. Weinreb; Michael Shea, Acting Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; and West Springfield Police Chief Ronald Campurciani made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Alex J. Grant of Weinreb’s Springfield Branch Office is prosecuting the case.
This case is brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. In 2006, the Department of Justice created Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from exploitation and abuse. 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/.