Illinois Man Pleads Guilty to Distribution of Child Pornography in Connection with Xbox Sting
|U.S. Attorney’s Office November 22, 2013|
ORLANDO—Acting United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that Scott Anthony Estes (18, Illinois) today pleaded guilty to distribution of child pornography. He faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years’ imprisonment and a maximum penalty of up to 40 years in federal prison.
Estes was indicted on April 17, 2013.
According to the plea agreement, Estes began contact with a 10-year-old boy on Xbox Live. Estes attempted to convince the child to engage in a sexual relationship and sought naked pictures of the child. The child then told his father about the conversation, and the father contacted law enforcement. Law enforcement began an undercover investigation and continued communication with Estes. Estes, believing that he was still talking to the child, sent videos depicting child pornography and images of Estes’ genitalia.
Estes was arrested by law enforcement on March 22, 2013. During an interview, Estes stated that he had met the child while playing a video game played on Xbox. Estes also admitted to sending a picture of his genitalia to the child, as well as child pornography videos, and that he had asked the child to send naked pictures of himself. Estes stated that he had also been in communication with a 13-year-old boy in Texas and that he had met that child while playing Xbox as well.
Following Estes’ arrest, a search warrant was conducted on his e-mail address. An examination of his e-mail account showed that he distributed child pornography to numerous persons between July 2012 and March 2013. Among the images and videos of child pornography distributed, several included pornographic videos that Estes had produced himself, while sexually abusing at least two children. A forensic review of Estes’ cellular telephone showed that he possessed more than 1,200 images of child pornography, including images depicting infants being sexually abused. A majority of the images of child pornography depict children between the ages of 3 and 8.
This case was investigated by Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Christopher LaForgia.
It is another case brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, 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 (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood 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 Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.