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April 10, 2015

Colorado Man Convicted of Kidnapping a Toddler and Producing Child Pornography

WASHINGTON—A Colorado man was convicted by a federal jury of kidnapping a toddler and producing child pornography, announced Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner of the Eastern District of California.

Shawn McCormack, 31, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, was found guilty following a 4-day trial of four counts of sexual exploitation of a child and two counts of kidnapping. Senior U.S. District Judge Anthony W. Ishii of the Eastern District of California presided over the trial, and a sentencing hearing was scheduled for July 27, 2015.

According to evidence presented at trial, McCormack, feigning to be a friend, traveled to a couple’s residence in Bakersfield, California, and stayed as an overnight guest on multiple occasions. During several of the overnight stays, in the middle of the night, McCormack snuck the couple’s toddler out of the house and recorded his sexual abuse of the toddler in a nearby motel, outdoors and in his truck. McCormack then returned the toddler to the house before the parents awoke. The evidence demonstrated that McCormack distributed the images and videos of his abuse to others online, including an undercover officer with the Toronto Police Services.

According to the evidence presented at trial, Homeland Security Investigations agents in Boston found images and recordings distributed by McCormack on a separate defendant’s computer in Massachusetts. The agents were able to identify the date, time and hotel room where one of the videos had been produced. When agents visited that hotel, they learned that McCormack had rented that hotel room on the night when the recording was created. During the investigation, agents uncovered evidence that McCormack had recorded his abuse of both of the couple’s children.

The investigation is being conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Field Offices in Bakersfield, California, Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Boston, Massachusetts, the Bakersfield Police Department, the Colorado Springs Police Department, Toronto Police Services, and the FBI.

The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Maureen C. Cain of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Patrick R. Delahunty and Megan A.S. Richards of the Eastern District of California.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

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