Joplin Man Pleads Guilty to Child Sexual Exploitation
Faces at Least 15 Years in Prison
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Joplin, Mo., man pleaded guilty in federal court today during the second day of his trial for the sexual exploitation of two child victims.
James Hajny, 51, of Joplin, entered a plea of no contest before U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool to two counts of using minors to produce child pornography, one count of receiving and distributing child pornography over the Internet and one count of possessing child pornography.
His wife, Gina Hajny, 41, of Joplin, pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography and was sentenced on March 1, 2016, to five years in federal prison without parole. Gina Hajny admitted that she occasionally used her husband’s laptop and saw images of child pornography. Gina Hajny admitted that even though she knew the laptop contained images of child pornography, she did not report the matter to law enforcement.
On Jan. 17, 2014, federal law enforcement agents received a CyberTip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children regarding an e-mail that contained child pornography. The e-mail included a pornographic image of a 7-year-old victim, identified in the indictment as Jane Doe #2.
On May 14, 2014, federal law enforcement agents received a referral from the Queensland, Australia, Police Service regarding a user – later identified as James Hajny – uploading child pornography to a Russian-hosted Web site that allows users to store and share images. Among the images of child pornography were seven photos of a 9-year-old victim, identified in the indictment as Jane Doe #1. Hajny’s user information for the Web site stated, “I am into younger girls and boys ages 8-13 also into taboo.”
Agents executed a search warrant at Hajny’s residence on May 16, 2014. Gina and James Hajny refused to allow officers to enter, attempting to slam the door shut. Officers were able to push the door open and enter the home. James Hajny was patted down for officer safety and a marijuana pipe was located in his front left pocket. James Hajny was placed under arrest for possession of drug paraphernalia.
Investigators examined a laptop computer seized from the residence and located 124 video files containing child pornography and 2,110 images of child pornography. Investigators also discovered numerous images of child pornography on James Hajny’s cell phone, as well as messages regarding the sexual abuse of children. Investigators also located numerous images containing child pornography of Jane Doe #1, Jane Doe #2, and John Doe (an 11-year-old male victim) on James Hajny’s laptop and cell phone.
Under federal statutes, Hajny is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of 30 years in prison, on each of the two child exploitation counts; a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in federal prison without parole, up to 20 years in federal prison, for receiving and distributing child pornography; and a sentence of up to 10 years in federal prison without parole for possessing child pornography. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ami Harshad Miller and James J. Kelleher. It was investigated by the FBI, Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force and the Joplin, Mo., Police Department.
Project Safe Childhood
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, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc . For more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."