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GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN – James Alfred Beckman, Jr., 39, of Mattawan, Michigan was convicted by a jury of ten counts of attempting to sexually exploit a child by trying to make his own child pornography, one count of attempting to coerce and entice a child to commit a sex act, two counts of distributing child pornography, and two counts of receiving child pornography, U.S. Attorney Patrick A. Miles, Jr. announced today. The jury returned the guilty verdicts, and one acquittal on the eleventh charge of attempted sexual exploitation, after hearing testimony and reviewing evidence presented during a two-week trial. Beckman faces up to life imprisonment for these offenses; he will be required to serve a term of supervised release after his prison term has been completed; and he will also be required to register as a sexual offender. The date of Beckman’s sentencing has not been set.
The evidence presented at trial showed that Beckman sexually abused and exploited two young children during 2012. He streamed and attempted to stream live video of this abuse and exploitation to others. In exchange, he received child pornography and other things he deemed of value. Beckman’s conduct came to light when one of his victims disclosed the abuse to another adult. The Michigan State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation then launched an investigation. The investigation revealed a network of individuals trafficking in child pornography. Two of Beckman’s accomplices testified against him.
This case is part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. The U.S. Attorney's Office, county prosecutor's offices, the Internet Crimes Against Children task force (ICAC), federal, state, and local law enforcement are working closely together to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children. The partners in Project Safe Childhood work to educate local communities about the dangers of online child exploitation, and to teach children how to protect themselves. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit the following web site: www.projectsafechildhood.gov. Individuals with information or concerns about possible child exploitation should contact local law enforcement officials.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Michigan State Police (MSP) investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sean M. Lewis and Timothy P. Verhey prosecuted the case.