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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Michigan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Kalamazoo Man Sentenced To 30 Years For Producing Child Pornography

          GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN - Adam Robert Hassell, 26, of Kalamazoo, was sentenced to 30 years in prison for producing child pornography, U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge announced. In addition, U.S. District Judge Paul Maloney imposed a twenty-year term of supervised release that will commence once Hassell is released from prison. Hassell will also have to pay $5,100 in special assessments and will be required to register as a sex offender.

          Hassell pleaded guilty in January 2018 to sexual exploitation of a child, i.e., production of child pornography. Hassell came to law enforcement attention in January 2017 when investigators discovered that someone at Hassell’s IP address was sharing child pornography via peer-to-peer file sharing software. In April 2017, investigators executed a search warrant at his residence and discovered thumbnail images of a nude eight-month-old infant on the SD card of Hassell’s cellphone. Hassell admitted taking, but then deleting, the images. The investigation revealed that he actually produced images involving lascivious displays of the infant and possessed sadistic images of the exploitation of other minors. Hassell ultimately admitted having a sexual interest in children and seeking child pornography online as a way to manage his urges.

          At sentencing, the mother of the infant expressed the emotional and psychological toll the case had taken on her, and described Hassell’s crime as “an act of evil and an act of terror to all mothers.” In sentencing Hassell, Judge Maloney noted, “when you exploit children, the crime is serious and it needs to be addressed with a serious sentence.”

          “This prosecution represents the commitment of my office to the protection of children and the punishment of child predators,” said U.S. Attorney Birge.

          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) investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexis M. Sanford prosecuted the case.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated April 25, 2018