Hogsett Announces Conviction, Sentencing Of Former Law Enforcement Official
TERRE HAUTE – U.S. Attorney Joseph H. Hogsett announced this afternoon the sentencing of James E. Haley, Jr., age 31, of Terre Haute, to 68 months in federal prison by U.S. District Court Judge William T. Lawrence. Haley, a former Vigo County Sheriff’s Deputy, was charged in March of this year with one count of possessing child pornography. Hogsett said this prosecution comes as part of Operation Community Watch, an effort which aims to reduce abuse of Hoosier children through innovative investigative techniques and aggressive prosecution.
“Operation Community Watch is not simply about protecting Hoosier children, but also about sending a message that no one is above the law,” Hogsett said. “You are not anonymous online, and this is not a victimless crime – if you engage in this behavior, our office will find you and hold you fully accountable for your deplorable behavior.”
A criminal complaint filed in March indicates that the investigation into Haley began in early January 2013. At that time, an investigator with the Indiana State Police connected to a computer through an online peer-to-peer sharing network. The investigator was able to download more than one-hundred images from that individual, which allegedly depicted child pornography.
Investigators were able to trace the online activity of that individual, and were able to identify the residence in which the child pornography trafficking was taking place. This residence was an apartment in Terre Haute belonging to Haley. On March 15, 2013, a search warrant was executed at the residence, and law enforcement agents found a laptop and a number of digital media storage devices. An initial forensic examination of these devices revealed more than 40,000 files, some of which depict the abuse of children as young as 5 years.
According to Senior Litigation Counsel Steven D. DeBrota, who prosecuted the case for the government, Haley was also ordered to serve lifetime supervised release upon conclusion of his prison term, and faces lifetime registration as a sexual offender.
Hogsett noted the prosecution represented one of the first convictions under “Operation Community Watch,” an initiative launched earlier this year that allows prosecutors and investigators to use cutting-edge techniques to identify and charge people in Hoosier communities who are engaged in the receipt and trafficking of child pornography materials.
Specifically, Hogsett said today’s case was aided by techniques developed with Purdue University in which investigators have access to more effective on-site forensic examination software, allowing law enforcement to quickly scan thousands of images and videos when a warrant is served. These efforts were facilitated by the Indiana State Police, the Indiana Crimes Against Children Task Force, and Homeland Security Investigations.
This case was also brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a larger nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Hogsett pointed out that in the last Project Safe Childhood reporting year, the Office prosecuted 52 defendants, an increase of 37% over the prior year, and 49 defendants were convicted and sentenced. These are all-time records for the Office. The Office conviction rate for PSC cases was 100%, a level it has been at since 1991.
The greatest measure of the PSC program’s impact, however, is the identification and rescue of child victims of sexual exploitation and abuse. Over the last year, the U.S. Attorney’s Office successfully identified more than 120 child victims, including minors in Indiana, numerous places in the United States, Canada, Switzerland, and other countries around the world.
Led nationally by United States 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, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.