MACON, Ga. – A Macon resident convicted of child sexual exploitation for coercing multiple juveniles to send him sexually explicit and pornographic images and videos of themselves was sentenced to serve 18 years in prison for his crimes.
Deon M. Moore, 37, of Macon, was sentenced to serve 216 months in prison to be followed by life on supervised release by U.S. District Judge Marc Treadwell today after he previously pleaded guilty to sexual exploitation of a child. In addition, Moore was ordered to pay restitution to one of the victims in the amount of $2,000 and he will have to register as a sex offender for life upon his release from federal prison. There is no parole.
“Deon Moore initiated conversation threads with more than 1,300 Facebook users in an aggressive effort that ultimately led to the sexual exploitation of minors as young as 10-years-old,” said U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary. “This office and our law enforcement partners will continue to do everything in our power to protect young people from child predators by tracking them down and holding them accountable for their crimes.”
“Moore thought he could hide behind a computer to con and exploit underage girls, but that will not stop the FBI and our partners from pursuing and putting away child predators like him,” said Alex Santiago, Acting Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “Online predators are unfortunately all too common, and we want to remind the public to be vigilant about who they are interacting with online and encourage children to use privacy settings that restrict access to their online profiles.”
According to court documents, the investigation was begun by the Fairborn, Ohio, Police Department (FOPD) on May 21, 2017, after the agency was contacted by the mother of a 12-year-old female victim, who had been communicating with Moore on Facebook and by text messages. Moore sent nude photos and requested to meet with the victim. Investigators discovered that Moore had changed his Facebook name to “Nathaniel Ellis,” and that he had numerous Facebook friends who appeared to be teenage females. The FBI and FOPD detectives determined that Moore used Facebook to find victims, using the false identities of Sharod King, Nathaniel Ellis, Jazmine Ellis and Sharde Carter. He sometimes represented himself to be a female and between the ages of teens to 30s, depending on the targeted victim. Moore was seeking young, black female girls, and Facebook transcripts indicate that he would ask them their ages. His victims ranged in age from 10 to 16, and he knew they were minors. Moore’s victims were from multiple states, and he would discuss sex in explicit terms with his victims and would request that they send him nude pictures of their breasts and genitalia. To coerce and induce victims to send sexually explicit pictures and videos of themselves, Moore would send them explicit pictures and videos.
Investigators discovered that a 10-year-old girl in the fourth grade began communicating with Moore on Facebook in May 2018. Moore represented himself to be a 14-year-old female living in Atlanta, and sent fictitious photos of himself, posing as female. He asked the 10-year-old victim to send pictures, which she did. Moore then asked the child victim for an explicit video, and he sent her a video to demonstrate what he was looking for her to send. The 10-year-old victim then sent him three explicit videos of herself.
During the time and scope of this investigation, Moore began conversation threads with a total of 1,306 individuals on Facebook, engaging 80 people in sustained conversations, 30 of which were juveniles. Four of these juveniles sent child pornography to Moore, and others sent explicit photographs of themselves, such as pictures of their breasts. Almost all of these victims received explicit sexual material from Moore, which he sent to induce, coerce and “educate” them.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the DOJ’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
The case was investigated by the FBI and the Fairborn, Ohio, Police Department (FOPD).
Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul McCommon prosecuted the case.