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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Fort Myers Registered Child Sex Offender Sentenced To 15 Years For Possessing Child Sexual Abuse Images And Videos

Fort Myers, Florida – U.S. District Judge Sheri Polster Chappell today sentenced Brenton Lawrence Frank (30, Fort Myers) to 15 years in federal prison for possessing images and videos depicting the sexual abuse of children. Frank was also sentenced to a life term of supervised release and ordered to register as a sex offender.

Frank had been found guilty following a bench trial on November 4, 2020.

According to court documents, on September 16, 2019, a deputy from the Lee County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) stopped Frank’s vehicle for a defective equipment violation. At the conclusion of the traffic stop, Frank consented to a search of his vehicle and the deputy then located Frank’s cellphone under the driver’s seat. Frank admitted to the deputy that the conditions of his supervision prohibited him from possessing the cellphone and signed a written consent authorizing the deputy to search his phone. The deputy observed images of children engaging in sexually explicit conduct on Frank’s cellphone. A subsequent search and forensic analysis of Frank’s cellphone revealed approximately 300 images and 2 videos depicting the sexual exploitation and abuse of children.

In 2011, Frank was convicted in Fort Myers on federal charges of distribution of material involving the sexual exploitation of minors and sentenced to 6 years’ imprisonment and a 15-year term of supervised release.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Fort Myers Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Yolande G. Viacava.

This 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 Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, 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 June 22, 2021