82 people arrested after multi-state child pornography sting

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ATLANTA (AP) — Authorities say a roundup operation targeting child pornography suspects resulted in 82 arrests across eight Southeastern states.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said in a news release Friday that 31 of the arrests occurred in Georgia. Most of them involved charges of possessing or distributing child pornography. The GBI said some were charged after making plans to have sex with people the suspects met online and believed were minors, but were actually law enforcement officers.

Investigators said a total of 82 people were arrested and 17 children were rescued or identified as a result of the operation.

Officials said the suspects range in age from 20 to 70. Some of their occupations included non-profit employee, small business owner, store clerk, mechanic, daycare administrator, youth group leader, former high school band director, freelance photographer, construction worker and painter.

About 170 agencies also took part in the crackdown that also included in Florida, Alabama, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.

The GBI said Operation Southern Impact III was planned for four months and the arrests came after three days of undercover operations, executing search warrants and other actions.

 

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Seminole County kindergarten teacher, former boyfriend accused of producing child pornography

os-1552673936-gcia9kxsyc-snap-imageJustin Ritchie and Audra Mabel (Seminole County Jail)

 

A Seminole County kindergarten teacher and her former boyfriend are accused of recording themselves sexually abusing young children, court records show.

Audra Mabel, 34, is facing federal charges of creating child pornography and sexual exploitation of a child. Justin Ritchie, 36, is accused of sexual assault of a child in Seminole County.

The investigation started March 5, after a preschool-aged child Ritchie is related to told her mother he had touched her inappropriately, according to his arrest affidavit. The mother took her child to Seminole County deputies that day, records show.

Sanford police officers spoke with the child the next day, records show. She told them Ritchie had touched her inappropriately “many times” and that there was video of the incidents on his cell phone, according to Ritchie’s arrest affidavit.

Officers arrested Ritchie March 8 as he stepped out of an Uber in front of his home after returning from a business trip to Chicago, records show. They had a search warrant for his cell phone and other devices, on which they found the videos, records show.

Authorities said they also found videos of Mabel inappropriately touching a young child she is related to, and video that showed Mabel in a Michigan where she taught first grade. In the video, Mabel exposes herself before turning the camera toward a classroom full of children, investigators said.

Mabel worked as a kindergarten teacher at Spring Lake Elementary School, according to a directory posted on the schools’s website. A Seminole County Public Schools spokesman said Mabel, who was hired full-time by the district in December, has been fired.

Mabel and Ritchie are being held in the Seminole County Jail without bond.

 

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Police Say She Held Down a 2-Year-Old While Her Cousin Sexually Abused the Toddler — And it Gets Worse

CINCINNATI —
A Cincinnati woman and a Franklin man have been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges related to selling and creating child pornography, according to the United States Attorney’s Office in Cincinnati.

Ciera Richter, 25, of Cincinnati, and Jason Fletcher, 40, of Franklin, were federally indicted Wednesday.

Fletcher was previously convicted by the state of Ohio of importuning a minor, among other crimes. Under the terms of his probation, he was not to possess pornography of any kind, according to Jennifer Thornton, Department of Justice spokeswoman.

In May 2017, during a visit with his probation officer, the officer noticed Fletcher had two mobile devices and, after having Fletcher provide access to the devices, started to review the content on both phones.

The probation officer found pornography of a minor female on one of the phones and Fletcher was subsequently arrested, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

A search of the phone revealed not only a collection of child pornography, but also child pornography videos made with the phone. Some of the videos on the phone involved Fletcher, Richter and a 2-year-old.

In the videos, Richter helped hold, entertain and position the toddler, while Fletcher recorded himself sexually abusing the child, according to court records.

Richter procured the 2-year-old for the purpose of making the videos and intended to sell the videos, according to the indictment and other court documents.

“Richter provided the toddler to Fletcher with the knowledge that as a consequence of the transfer, the 2-year-old would be portrayed in child pornography,” said Benjamin C. Glassman, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, in a statement. “Offenses like those alleged here are among the most heinous, and most important, that we prosecute. We take seriously our duty and responsibility to keep children safe from those who would prey upon them.”

Richter and Fletcher are each charged with one count of conspiracy to produce child pornography and production of child pornography. Those crimes carry a potential sentence of 15 to 30 years in prison.

Fletcher faces a potential range of 35 years to life in prison, because he has at least two prior state convictions for crimes involving children.

Richter is also charged with one count of selling a child, which is punishable by 30 years to life in prison.

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“Just the Tip of the Iceberg”

New Ben Garrison Cartoon, “Just the Tip of the Iceberg”

A sinister cartoon for a sinister story.

The Church has covered up decades of child molestation by priests across the state of Pennsylvania.

For far too long the Church has ignored or hidden a problem of epidemic proportions under their pulpits. Priest who weren’t arrested and jailed were merely shuffled off to different parishes, where they continued their vile ways of abuse.

Instead of telling someone they’re not a Christian if they have a gun in their house, it’s time for the Pope to clean his own house. He has the power to allow priests to marry and have families. It’s not only normal, but also Biblical.

Upstate New York man admitted to pretend to be a girl to trick 13 year old boy to send Sexual Photos!

ALBANY, N.Y. — An Upstate New York man has admitted to pretending to be a teenage girl to trick a 13-year-old boy into sending sexually explicit photographs.

James Mattison, 46, of Fort Edward in Washington County pleaded guilty Thursday to sexual exploitation of a child following an October 2016 exchange in which he pretended to be a teen named Megan Mattison. He got the boy to send the photos by threatening to commit suicide if the boy refused, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office of Northern District of New York.

As part of his plea, Mattison said he exchanged over 7,100 text messages with the boy, whom he met online using the Live.me phone application.

He has been in custody since his arrest in September 2017 and is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 10.

Mattison faces at least 15 years and up to 30 years in prison, at least five years and up to lifetime post-imprisonment supervised release and a maximum $250,000 fine, officials said. He also will have to register as a sex offender upon release.

The case was investigated by the FBI, with assistance from the New York State Police and Washington County Probation Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Giovannetti.

The case is part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse, led by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

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Mom defends teacher who had sex with her daughter, 14!

(Laredo Morning Times) The mother of a middle school student who had a sexual relationship with a former United ISD teacher in 2015 testified on Wednesday at the man’s sentencing hearing, saying that he was “almost like a son” and that she did not want him to go to prison.

Luis Enrique Mercado, 36, pleaded guilty to indecency with a child by exposure, a third-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Mercado was accused of committing a host of sexual offenses against a then-14-year-old student.

The Webb County District Attorney’s Office agreed to dismiss the remaining charges on Mercado’s 22-count grand jury indictment, including nine counts of indecency with a child by sexual contact, five counts of improper relationship between an educator and a student, four counts of sexual assault of a child, two counts of possession of child pornography and one count of indecency with a child by exposure.

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