Federal Jury Convicts Registered Sexual Predator Of Attempting To Entice A 14-Year-Old Child To Produce Sexual Abuse Videos Using A Smart Phone
Jacksonville, Florida – United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces that Reece Christopher Depew (24, Jacksonville) has pleaded guilty to possessing images depicting young children being sexually abused. Depew faces a maximum penalty of 20 years’ imprisonment and a potential lifetime of supervised release. Depew was arrested on January 17, 2020, and has been detained since that time.
According to court documents, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children received a CyberTip report from a company that operates an online social messaging application (“App”). This report stated that a particular user named “Android 18,” later identified as Depew, had uploaded a number of child sexual abuse images over the internet to an online chat platform on the App. Further investigation revealed that the internet protocol address used to upload this material traced back to Depew’s residence in Jacksonville.
On January 17, 2020, FBI agents executed a federal search warrant at Depew’s residence. During an interview, Depew admitted that he used private messaging apps to talk to others online about sex, he had viewed and traded child sexual abuse images during 2019, and that he had downloaded these images from the internet using his laptop computer. Depew was shown a particular image depicting an infant being sexually abused, and admitted that he had posted this image in a chat room on the App. A review of Depew’s laptop computer revealed that it contained one image depicting a young child being sexually abused and at least 200 images of cartoon or “anime” pornography, some featuring cartoon-stylized children.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney D. Rodney Brown.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in 2006 by the U.S. 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 in person and online, and to identify and rescue child victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.