US Makes Significant Child Porn Bust
'Never before ... have we identified and located this many minor victims'
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 19, 2014 8:10 AM CDT
   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – US police have taken down a secret, members-only child porn ring, and with it achieved quite the feat: "Never before in the history of this agency have we identified and located this many minor victims in the course of a single child-exploitation investigation," one official told Reuters. The Department of Homeland Security announced yesterday that authorities had arrested 14 men behind the password-protected website, which featured photos of 251 children, all but eight of them boys and most between the ages of 13 and 15, though some were as young as three. The children hailed from six countries, but most were from the US—victims have been traced to 39 states.

The site was run on the anonymity-protecting Tor network, CNET reports. Leader Jonathan Johnson, 27, admitted that he had posed as a girl to trick male children into recording explicit videos of themselves; he was arrested June 13 and has been in custody since. The site had 27,000 members and 2,000 videos, and featured tutorials on how to coerce minor boys into filming sexually explicit videos. Johnson lives in Louisiana, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports, and New Orleans-based federal prosecutors are prosecuting 10 involved in the case—including one man who admitted to shooting an explicit video of a 14-year-old in his car, engaging in sexual relations with another underage boy, and paying the latter for nude photos.
 

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