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Press Release

Abbeville man sentenced to 70 years in prison for production, possession of child pornography

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Louisiana

ALEXANDRIA, La. United States Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook announced that a former Vermilion Parish middle school teacher was sentenced last week to 70 years in prison for making and possessing child pornography.


James Stacey Harber, 33, of Abbeville, La., previously of Ohio, was sentenced Friday by U.S. District Judge Dee D. Drell on three counts of production of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. He was also sentenced to a lifetime of supervised release and is required to register as a sex offender. According to the August 18, 2017 guilty plea, Harber began communicating with a woman in Abbeville while he was living in Ohio in 2010. They began having a sexual relationship online and communicating via online video. The woman later included her three minor children in the online sexual relationship. Harber moved to Abbeville in 2013 and gained employment at the Louisiana Office of Child Services and then as a middle school teacher. He sexually abused the woman’s children after moving to Louisiana in addition to recording sexually explicit images of them. Law enforcement agents searched Harber’s home on April 26, 2016 and found numerous images and videos of child pornography on various electronic media, which included images downloaded from the internet as well as images he recorded himself sexually exploiting the children.


“These types of horrific cases must not be allowed to continue,” said Van Hook. “It is vital that the public and people in the community help to bring these cases to light as happened in this case. This 70-year sentence shows our resolve to prosecute and convict to the fullest extent of the law.”


This case is part of Project Safe Childhood, a U.S. Department of Justice nationwide initiative 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, Project Safe Childhood combines 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


The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) also encourage the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at (866) 347-2423.  Investigators are available at all hours to answer hotline calls.  Tips or other information can also be submitted to ICE online by visiting their website at or through the Operation Predator smartphone application  Tips may be submitted anonymously.


The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Abbeville Police Department conducted the investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney John Luke Walker prosecuted the case.

Updated January 25, 2018

Project Safe Childhood