On May 12, 2016, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children held their annual HOPE AWARDS in Washington, D.C. The event recognizes leaders in child safety, honors survivors, and remembers those who are still missing.
Assistant United States Attorney D. Rodney Brown was invited by NCMEC to attend this year’s event. AUSA Brown successfully prosecuted St. Johns County resident Lucas Michael Chansler for sextortion. Chansler is currently serving his 105-year prison sentence. One of the victims in the case, Ashley Reynolds, was presented with the Courage Award for her bravery in coming forward to law enforcement and for her continuing community outreach efforts. The case agent, FBI Special Agent Larry Meyer, was also honored for his tireless efforts during the investigation of the Chansler case.
To date, of the 350 victims in the Chansler case, 115 have now been positively identified.
NCMEC and the United States Department of Justice have recently pushed out a new series of public service announcements that are based on the Chansler case.