Puyallup, Washington, man charged with child sex abuse crimes
Defendant allegedly created multiple forums and discussion groups about child sex abuse videos; posted videos of abuse of young children
Seattle – A 21-year-old resident of Puyallup, Washington, was arrested at Sea-Tac International Airport last night on a criminal complaint charging multiple crimes related to the creation and transportation of child sexual abuse imagery, announced U.S. Attorney Nick Brown. Shawn Stone was arriving on a flight from Amsterdam when he was contacted by the FBI. Stone appeared in U.S. District Court in Seattle today and remains detained pending further hearings.
According to the criminal complaint, investigators with the FBI became aware of someone with Stone’s username posting on an internet platform about child sex abuse. The platform has a reputation as a place offenders go to share child abuse imagery. Investigators linked the username to Stone and are investigating Stone’s involvement in creating and moderating discussion board devoted to child sexual abuse, and the sexual abuse of two minors. The abuse allegedly occurred while Stone was on a family trip to Germany in 2019. An initial review of his electronic devices revealed multiple images of child sexual abuse.
Stone is charged by criminal complaint with one count of production of child pornography and one count of transportation of child pornography.
The charges carry mandatory minimum terms of imprisonment of 15 and 5 years respectively.
The charges contained in the complaint are only allegations. A person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
The investigation is being led by the FBI. Other agencies involved include the Tacoma Police Department, the Washington State Patrol, Pierce County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Washington State Department of Corrections, the Federal Protective Service and the U.S. Army.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Hampton.
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 United States 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.justice.gov/psc.