Trio of Child Pornographers Sentenced
|U.S. Attorney’s Office October 26, 2012|
MEMPHIS, TN—Virtually everyone has a cellular telephone with a camera and most people use them in a responsible manner. But this week, three individuals were sentenced by U.S. District Judge Samuel H. Mays for using their phones to produce or receive child pornography.
John Vincent LaBuda, 31, of Shelby County, pleaded guilty to one count of production of child pornography and was sentenced to 360 months in federal prison. He also pleaded guilty to one count of possession of child pornography and was sentenced to 120 months that will run concurrently.
In an unrelated case, husband and wife Daryl Wayne Maness, 38, and Shannon Ann Maness, 37, both of Chester County, Tennessee, pleaded guilty to one count each of receiving child pornography, and were each sentenced to 120 months in prison.
All three will also be be subject to 15 years of supervised release, during which time they must register as sex offenders, participate in sex offender treatment, have no contact with minors, and refrain from accessing or possessing pornography of any kind. The also may not live near places where minors are likely to be, such as parks or swimming pools.
According to evidence introduced in court, in December 2009, LaBuda, a long-haul truck driver, used a Blackberry to record videos of a minor under the age of 10 being forced to engage in sexually explicit conduct. The videos were found on his phone in January 2010, when he was being investigated by the El Paso Police Department for having inappropriate sexual contact with a teenage runaway in Texas. LaBuda also pleaded guilty to charges related to the case in El Paso.
According to evidence introduced in court, the Maness case is a classic example of conduct known as “grooming.” It is a process by which an adult builds a trusting relationship with a child, provides benefit or gives gifts to the child in an effort to cause the child to feel indebted to the giver, and then begins to introduce the child to sexual activity. Once the child has been desensitized to sexual contact, the adult is in position to take advantage of the child’s trust and engage in further illicit contact with the child.
In 2010, the Manesses cultivated friendships with several 13- to 15-year-old girls over an approximately six-month time period. This included taking the girls on outings, allowing them to stay overnight at the couple’s residence, and giving them gifts such as tee shirts, bathing suits, jewelry, and cell phones. The Manesses also paid for the girls’ cell phone service and used those phones to maintain regular contact with the teens by using text and picture messaging and social networking. Eventually, the couple pressured the girls to take sexually explicit photographs of themselves using the cameras in the cell phones they had provided and send them to both the husband’s and the wife’s cell phones. The Manesses were each also convicted of aggravated statutory rape in Chester County Circuit Court earlier this year for contact offenses involving one of the teens.
There is no parole in the federal system.
“The actions of these three individuals are both reprehensible and unconscionable,” said United States Attorney Edward L. Stanton III. “The sexual exploitation of an innocent child is something that will not be tolerated in any of our communities, and this office will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that those who engage in these activities are prosecuted, and that the sentences they receive are stiff and severe. We hope these sentences will not only serve as a warning to anyone who might engage in this behavior, but also encourage any child who is being victimized in this manner to speak up so these predators can be brought to justice.”
“These sentences represent the diligent efforts of the men and women of the FBI and our law enforcement partners to protect our children from sexual exploitation and remove from our streets those who victimize innocent children,” said Aaron T. Ford, Special Agent in Charge of the Memphis Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. “The FBI will continue to target those who prey on our children and ensure that these offenders are held accountable for their serious crimes.”
Stanton also praised the outstanding efforts of Chester County Sheriff’s Department and Sheriff Blair Weaver.
“Sheriff Weaver and his investigative team handled this case with highest degree of professionalism, and their contributions were invaluable,” said Stanton. “They were able to perfectly balance the desire to aggressively pursue the Manesses, while maintaining sensitivity to the children who were victimized.”
“The word ‘monster’ is thrown around a lot these days, but in this case, it perfectly describes Daryl and Shannon Maness,” said Sheriff Blair Weaver. “Knowing that they will spend the next 10 years in federal prison is very satisfying to me, and hopefully it will help the victims begin to recover.”
These cases were investigated by the FBI’s Memphis Child Exploitation Task Force, Chester County (Tennessee) Sheriff’s Department, and the El Paso (Texas) Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Deb Ireland represented the U.S. government.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC), a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, PSC marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about PSC, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/ For more information about Internet safety education, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/resources.html and click on the tab “resources.”