Former Madison County Man Sentenced on Child Exploitation Charges
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – A federal judge today sentenced a former Madison County man on child exploitation charges, announced United States Attorney Prim F. Escalona and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Johnnie Sharp, Jr.
Chief United States District Judge L. Scott Coogler sentenced Justin David Beatty, 31, formerly of Madison County, to 50 years in prison followed by lifetime supervised release for two counts of production of child pornography, two counts of coercion and enticement of a minor, and two counts of receipt of child pornography. Beatty pleaded guilty to these charges in September 2020.
According to court documents, Beatty targeted and manipulated pre-teen and teenage girls through various online chat applications using false personas. Beatty used threats to coerce them to produce obscene photographs of themselves for his sexual pleasure. When they refused his demands, he would threaten to post their pornographic photographs online. This conviction will require Beatty to register as a sex offender in accordance with the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).
“This defendant used the internet to gain the trust of vulnerable victims and exploited them for his own gratification,” U.S. Attorney Escalona said. “This sentence sends a strong message that individuals who target children for sexual exploitation will be brought to justice.”
“Beatty was a textbook “sextortionist” with his efforts to manipulate young girls,” SAC Sharp said. “This case should serve as a reminder that both youth and caregivers need to understand that a sexual predator can victimize children or teens in their own homes through the devices they use for gaming, homework, and communicating with friends. Awareness, online safety practices, and a willingness to ask for help, can put an end to this exploitation. Please report suspected sextortion, to your nearest FBI field office or call 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5324). To make a CyberTipline report with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), visit report.cybertip.org.”
FBI Huntsville Resident Agency, along with the FBI Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the City of Madison Police Department investigated the case. Assistant United States Attorney R. Leann White prosecuted the case.
The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched by the Department of Justice in May 2006 to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.