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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Nevada

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, November 4, 2021

Reno Man Indicted For Child Sexual Exploitation And Child Pornography Offenses

RENO, Nev. – A Reno man made his initial court appearance yesterday for alleged sexual exploitation of children and child pornography offenses.

According to allegations in the indictment, James Patrick Burns, 53, threatened two children on social media applications to coerce them into producing multiple images and videos of child pornography. Burns then advertised and distributed those child pornography images and videos online to others. In addition, he allegedly advertised, possessed, distributed, and received sexually explicit images of children. Burns is registered as a sex offender related to a previous conviction. 

Burns is charged with two counts of sexual exploitation of children, one count of advertising child pornography, one count of distribution and receipt of child pornography, and one count of possession of child pornography. He appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge William G. Cobb and was detained pending trial.

A jury trial has been scheduled to begin on January 3, 2022 before Chief U.S. District Judge Miranda M. Du. If convicted, Burns faces a statutory maximum penalty of 50 years in prison for each count of child exploitation.

Acting U.S. Attorney Christopher Chiou for the District of Nevada and Special Agent in Charge Aaron C. Rouse for the FBI made the announcement.

This case was investigated by the Northern Nevada Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force, FBI, Washoe County Sheriff’s Office, Sparks Police Department, Nevada Attorney General’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations, and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Andolyn Johnson is prosecuting the case.

An indictment is merely an allegation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

This case was 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 and for information about internet safety education, visit www.usdoj.gov/psc.

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Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Updated November 4, 2021