Lake City Man Arrested and Charged in Federal Court with Producing Child Pornography
JACKSONVILLE, FL—United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announced today that Robert Lamar Starling (29, Lake City) has been charged by a federal criminal complaint with producing child pornography. If convicted, Starling faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years, up to 30 years in federal prison, and a potential life term of supervision. Starling was arrested on May 1, 2014. He was ordered detained pending a hearing on May 8, 2014, at 2:30 p.m., before United States Magistrate Judge James R. Klindt.
According to the criminal complaint, beginning in September 2013, FBI agents executed a series of search warrants on several e-mail accounts around the country and determined, among other things, that a particular user in Lake City, Florida, had uploaded images of child pornography to the Internet, using an account on a photo sharing site. Further investigation traced the account back to a residence in Lake City, where Starling resided.
On May 1, 2014, FBI agents and other law enforcement officers executed a federal search warrant at the residence. Starling was not at the residence but was located later that morning driving his golf cart at the Suwannee Music Park & Campground in Live Oak, Florida. During an interview at his campsite, Starling stated that he had produced pornographic images of several prepubescent children and that he searches for and downloads child pornography via the Internet. He provided the identities of five prepubescent children with whom he produced child pornography. Starling estimated that he may have around 7,000 videos and 5,000 still images of child pornography. A preview of Starling’s laptop computer revealed that it contained more than 600 videos depicting child pornography.
A criminal complaint is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent until, and unless, proven guilty.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, the Suwannee County Sheriff’s Office, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney D. Rodney Brown.
It is another case was 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, 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.usdoj.gov/psc.