British Actor And Talent Judge Pleads Guilty To Persuading Children To Produce Pornography Over The Internet
Orlando, Florida - United States Attorney Robert E. O'Neill announced today that John David Baker (29, resident of Celebration, Florida and citizen of the United Kingdom) has pleaded guilty to two counts of production of child pornography using the Internet. He faces a minimum of 15 years, and up to 30 years in prison for each count, and a potential life term of supervised release. Baker has been held in the custody since his arrest in this case on September 7, 2012. A sentencing hearing has not yet been set.
According to court documents, beginning in or about November 2008 through August 2010, in the Middle District of Florida and elsewhere, Baker used computers and interactive computer services to engage in online conversations with several minor children over the Internet. During this period, Baker worked as an actor and helped train and audition adults and children who were attempting to pursue careers in the entertainment business. Baker also served as a talent judge for a talent competition in Florida. In this role, Baker met minor children who were auditioning to obtain work in the art and film industries.
Following a complaint by a concerned parent of a child whom Baker had contacted online, Baker was interviewed by law enforcement. Baker acknowledged that he had been confronted by the director of the talent competition about his inappropriate online contact with minors and admitted to chatting with other minors from the talent competition online. Baker also admitted that many of his chats were sexually oriented and to having sent or trading sexually oriented photos of himself or others during chats. He stated that through his work in the talent industry he received photos of individuals, some through his request and some not solicited by him. According to Baker, he had solicited photos from at least 10 children in the talent competition.
By establishing a fictitious online persona of himself, Baker persuaded minors to send him images and videos of themselves engaging in sexually explicit conduct via the Internet. Baker then sent the pornographic images to others. During a forensic analysis of Baker’s computer, law enforcement located several images and a video of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct.
This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, Orange County Sheriff’s Office, Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, and the former Child Predator Cybercrime Unit of the Florida Attorney General’s Office. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney D. Rodney Brown.
It is another case 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 (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.projectsafechildhood.gov. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov and click on the tab "other resources."