Sex Offender Sentenced to Serve More Than 27 Years in Federal Prison for Attempted Enticement of a Minor to Engage in Sexual Activity
Defendant to Face Lifetime of Supervised Release Following Prison Sentence
OKLAHOMA CITY – Yesterday, NATHAN BENFALL, 35, an Australian citizen living in Oklahoma City, was sentenced to serve 220 months in federal prison for producing child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Robert J. Troester.
On October 5, 2022, Benfall was charged with two counts of production of child pornography, distribution of child pornography, and possession of material containing child pornography. An affidavit filed in support of a criminal complaint previously in the case indicates that during an FBI online undercover investigation beginning April 1, 2022, authorities identified several videos depicting child pornography. Those videos had been uploaded to the BitTorrent network, from an IP address that linked to Benfall’s Oklahoma City home.
On September 6, 2022, authorities arrested Benfall. During the arrest, a camera inside a law enforcement vehicle depicted Benfall deleting an app from his cell phone. The FBI ultimately found 520 child pornography videos and 1,104 child pornography photographs on devices seized from Benfall, including videos depicting child pornography Benfall produced of boys with a camera hidden in his downstairs bathroom.
On March 8, 2023, Benfall pleaded guilty to production of child pornography.
At yesterday’s sentencing hearing, U.S. District Judge Stephen P. Friot sentenced Benfall to serve 220 months in federal prison, followed by a lifetime of supervised release. In announcing the sentence, Judge Friot noted that Benfall had worked at a metro children’s theater, where he met and groomed multiple boys over several years, showed them pornography, and gave them marijuana. Evidence presented at sentencing indicated that Benfall had overnight stays at his house with the boys, took them on hiking and out-of-state trips, and engaged in sexual misconduct with them. Judge Friot further noted that Benfall’s “protracted periods of grooming” of the boys involved “multiple stunningly egregious breaches of trust” and “hands-on predation,” which “cried out for a stern sentence.”
This case is the result of an investigation by the FBI Oklahoma City Field Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brandon Hale prosecuted the case.
This case is part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC), a nationwide initiative by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to combat child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the DOJ Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, PSC 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 PSC, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.
Reference is made to public filings for additional information.