Michigan Man Pleads Guilty to Production of Child Pornography
BUFFALO, NY—U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. announced today that James S. Allen, 38, of New Baltimore, MI, pleaded guilty to production of child pornography and cyberstalking before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara. The charges carry a mandatory minimum 15 years in prison, a maximum of 30, and a fine of $250,000.
“This case demonstrates just how far a sexual predator is willing to go in order to harm children for his own gratification,” said U.S. Attorney Hochul. “It also serves as yet another reminder to parents, caregivers and children alike that the Internet—while beneficial—can also be a dangerous environment in which the virtual world is used to commit real life damage to victims.”
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Aaron J. Mango and Scott S. Allen, who are handling the case, stated that between April and August of 2012, the defendant utilized the Internet and text messages to stalk, communicate with, and threaten 18 female victims in the Western District of New York, many of them minors, in an effort to obtain pornographic pictures of the minors. Allen contacted the victims and told them that he found naked pictures of them on the Internet. The defendant then directed the victims to a specific website to view the pictures. In reality, the website was a front or a phishing site by which the defendant sought to surreptitiously obtain the victim’s private e-mail address and password.
Once the targeted victim input the requested information, the victim’s personal e-mail addresses and passwords went straight to the defendant via the Internet. Allen then seized control of the victim’s e-mail accounts, contacted the victims, and threatened that if they did not engage in a Skype video chat with him, he would distribute naked photos of the victims over the Internet. Once a victim and the defendant logged onto Skype (the defendant utilized the screen name “shhh.shhh,” Allen further demanded that the victims take their clothes off and engage in sexual conduct, with the additional threat that naked pictures of them would be sent out to all of Western New York if the girl did not comply. As a result of the defendant’s repeated and sustained harassment of the victims, many victims suffered substantial emotional distress.
The plea is the culmination of an investigation by on the part of Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Child Exploitation Task force which includes the Buffalo Police Department, the Cheektowaga Police Department, and the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office, and the Kenmore Police Department, under the direction of Chief Peter Breitnauer. Additional assistance was also provided by the FBI Forensic Laboratory in Quantico, Virginia, and the Western New York Regional Computer Forensic Laboratory.
Sentencing is scheduled for September 14, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. before Judge Arcara.