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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, December 11, 2020

Jacksonville Man Pleads Guilty To Producing Photos Of Himself As He Sexually Abused An 11-Year-Old Child

Jacksonville, Florida – Columbus Donavan Jeffrey (43, Jacksonville) has pleaded guilty to two counts of producing images depicting himself as he sexually abused a child. Jeffrey faces an aggregate mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years, and up to 60 years, in federal prison and a potential life term of supervised release. Jeffrey was arrested on October 3, 2019, and remains in custody. A sentencing date has not yet been scheduled. 

According to court documents, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) received information from a company that hosts an online social messaging application (app). Specifically, on May 3, 2019, a user named “hideme1977,” subsequently identified as Jeffrey, had uploaded several pornographic images using this app. These photos were taken by Jeffrey showing him sexually abusing an 11-year-old child. On October 3, 2019, detectives from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (JSO) and other officers executed a search warrant at Jeffrey’s residence in Jacksonville. When interviewed, Jeffrey admitted that he had used the “hideme1977” username on the app. He also identified himself and the child as depicted in one of the photos that Jeffrey had uploaded to the app on May 3, 2019. JSO detectives were able to locate the child shown in the photos. During an interview, the child disclosed that Jeffrey had sexually abused the child on at least three separate occasions and had taken pictures of this sexual abuse during two of these incidents.

A forensic examination of Jeffrey’s cellphone revealed that it contained 635 images and 57 videos depicting the sexual abuse of minors, including other photos taken by Jeffrey in which he is shown sexually abusing the same child on several occasions in Jeffrey’s residence.  

This case was investigated by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys D. Rodney Brown and Kelly S. Karase.

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, 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 December 11, 2020