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Press Release

Federal Jury Convicts Child Psychiatrist Of Sexual Exploitation Of A Minor

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

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A federal jury in Charlotte has convicted David Tatum, 41, a child psychiatrist in Charlotte, N.C., of sexual exploitation of a minor, announced Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.

Robert M. DeWitt, Special Agent in Charge of Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in North Carolina join U.S. Attorney King in making today’s announcement. 

According to filed court documents, trial evidence and witness testimony, between 2016 and 2021, Tatum possessed images and videos of child pornography. Trial evidence also established that in or about July 2016, Dr. Tatum secretly recorded a minor while the minor was undressing and showering. A forensic analysis of electronic devices revealed that the defendant produced the video of the minor and possessed it, along with other images and videos of child pornography. According to trial evidence, Dr. Tatum made similar surreptitious recordings of others, including of his patient during an outpatient visit who had just turned 18 years old five days before the recording. The jury convicted Dr. Tatum of one count production of child pornography, one count of transportation of child pornography, and one count of possession of child pornography.

Dr. Tatum is currently in federal custody. A sentencing date has not been set. The count of production of child pornography carries a minimum statutory sentence of 15 years and a maximum of 30 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The charge of transportation of child pornography carries a minimum statutory sentence of 5 years and a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The charge of possession of child pornography carries a statutory penalty of no more than 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

In making today’s announcement, U.S. Attorney King commended FBI for their investigation of the case.

Assistant United States Attorneys Daniel Cervantes and Mark Odulio of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte, are prosecuting the case.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. 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

Updated May 4, 2023

Project Safe Childhood