Administrator Of Online Group Chat Dedicated To Trafficking Child Pornography Is Sentenced To 22 Years In Prison
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Acting U.S. Attorney William T. Stetzer announced that U.S. District Judge Max O. Cogburn Jr. sentenced Benjamin Swain, 47, of Charlotte, late yesterday, to 25 years in prison, on charges of sexual exploitation of a minor.
Robert R. Wells, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte Division, and Chief Jonny Jennings for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department join Acting U.S. Attorney Stetzer in making today’s announcement.
According to court filings, plea documents and statements made in court, Swain was a tennis coach in the greater Charlotte area. As Swain previously admitted in court, beginning in at least 2016, and on at least two different occasions, Swain secretly recorded three minors while they were undressing and showering. On December 9, 2019, Swain pleaded guilty to sexual exploitation of a minor. Swain was previously sentenced to 12 years in prison, after pleading guilty to Child Molestation and Enticing a Child for Indecent Purposes in an unrelated case prosecuted by the state of Georgia.
In announcing Swain’s sentence, Judge Cogburn said that the sentence should deter other coaches and people who serve in similar positions from committing similar crimes.
Swain is currently in federal custody. He will be ordered to report to the federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility. Swain, who is a British citizen, will also be subject to deportation proceedings upon completion of his federal sentence. If Swain is not deported, or later returns to the United States, he was ordered by Judge Cogburn to serve a lifetime of supervised release and to register as a sex offender.
In making today’s announcement, Acting U.S. Attorney Stetzer thanked the FBI, CMPD, and the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office in Georgia for their investigation of the case.
Assistant United States Attorney Cortney Randall of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte prosecuted 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 www.projectsafechildhood.gov.