Jacksonville Man Guilty Of Producing Images Depicting The Sexual Abuse Of Children And Transporting Child Sexual Abuse Material
Jacksonville, Florida – Harlon David Prater (28, Jacksonville) has pleaded guilty to two counts of producing images depicting the sexual abuse of children, and one count of transporting images of sexual abuse of a child. Prater faces a minimum mandatory penalty of 15 years, and up to 80 years, in federal prison, and a potential life term of supervised release. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for May 4, 2020.
According to court documents, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) received reports from a social networking and file-sharing provider that a particular user was sharing images of child sex abuse. NCMEC determined that the images had been created in Duval County. Detectives and officers from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (JSO) executed a search warrant at Prater’s residence. During an interview, Prater admitted to viewing and sharing images of child sex abuse. He also admitted to using his cellphone to produce images of babies being sexually abused.
During a search of Prater’s cellphone, a JSO forensic examiner recovered images of Prater sexual abusing babies and other children. There was also evidence that Prater had distributed images and videos of child sex abuse to others over social media, and that he had amassed a collection on his cellphone of more than 900 images and 50 videos of children being sexually abused.
This case was investigated by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and Homeland Security Investigations. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kelly S. Karase.
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 Attorneys’ 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.