You are here

Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 11, 2019

Bradenton Man Sentenced To 70 Years In Federal Prison For Producing Sex Abuse Video Series Of A One-Year-Old Child For Dark Web Forum

Tampa, FL – Chief U.S. District Judge Steven D. Merryday today sentenced James Lockhart (31, Bradenton) to the statutory maximum penalty of 70 years in federal prison for producing, distributing, and possessing child pornography.

Lockhart had pleaded guilty on March 26, 2019.

According to court documents, between March 2016 and February 2018, Lockhart produced a sexually violent four-video series of child sex abuse where he recorded himself having sex with a one-year-old child. He then distributed the videos on a dark web forum. In the videos, Lockhart displayed signs bearing the dark web forum’s name and his online moniker in order to gain notoriety in the forum and elsewhere. In addition to the dark web series, Lockhart created other sex abuse videos and images of the child. He also bragged of sexually abusing a second one-year-old child.

Lockhart also collected child pornography involving other victims. Following the execution of a search warrant at Lockhart’s residence, authorities seized devices containing 43 videos depicting child pornography and at least 4,000 images of child pornography. Lockhart’s child pornography collection included infants and sadomasochistic and violent conduct.

“This deviant committed the most horrible atrocities imaginable to a one-year-old child,” said HSI Tampa Assistant Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Cochran. “HSI’s national and international partnerships have helped ensure that this predator will never again harm a child.”

This case was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (Boston and Tampa), with assistance from the Queensland Police Service, Commonwealth of Australia. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Frank Murray.

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 United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), 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.justice.gov/psc.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Updated July 11, 2019