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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, August 15, 2014

Battle Ground Resident Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison for Making Images of Child Molestation

Defendant Photographed Friend’s 5-Year-Old In Sexually Explicit Poses

            A 46-year-old Battle Ground, Washington man was sentenced today to 15 years in prison and lifetime supervised release for production of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan.  DAVID P. HARLAN, 46, pleaded guilty in January 2014.  He has been serving a six and a half year state sentence for child molestation since May 2014.  His federal sentence will run concurrent with the state sentence.  At his sentencing hearing U.S. District Judge Ronald B. Leighton told him, “This is a serious offense, with tragic consequences.  The sentence here needs to deter conduct like this by you or by like-minded people.”

According to records filed in the case, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents in Portland, Oregon were alerted by German authorities that someone at a particular IP address in the Vancouver, Washington, area was distributing child pornography using peer-to-peer file sharing software.  HARLAN was identified as the person controlling the computers at the IP address.  A court authorized search warrant was served on HARLAN’s Battle Ground home in March 2010.  Ten computers, numerous DVDs, hard drives and cameras were seized from the residence.  Forensic analysis discovered more than 5,300 images and 183 movie files of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct.  Some of the child pornography was of victims already identified by the Center for Missing and Exploited Children.  However, investigators determined that some of the pornographic pictures had been taken of young children whose parents were friends of HARLAN.  In one instance the photos had been taken when the child was about 5-years-old, and her mother was busy in the kitchen.

“This case is a sad reminder that most children are victimized by someone they know and trust,” said Brad Bench, special agent in charge of HSI Seattle.  “Fortunately, through this investigation that began halfway around the world in Germany, HSI and its local partners have put an end to Harlan’s sexual abuse of children.”

The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Battle Ground Police Department.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David Reese Jennings.

Updated March 20, 2015