Cases Involving Sex Trafficking and Exploitation of Children on the Rise
SAN DIEGO—Four defendants from unrelated cases were sentenced in federal court today for crimes involving the sex trafficking and sexual exploitation of children, underscoring a continuing trend as prosecutions in this category continue to rise.
The number of defendants prosecuted for sex crimes that victimize and exploit children in the Southern District of California has increased 85 percent in the last five years, from 61 in 2009 to 113 in 2013. The increase is even more dramatic compared to 10 years ago, when only a few cases were logged.
The number of prosecutions involving sex crimes that victimize and exploit children in the Southern District of California has increased 65 percent in the last five years, from 49 in 2009 to 81 in 2013. And those numbers do not reflect that several recent sex trafficking cases have dozens of defendants each.
“The statistics show that one of our highest priorities is protecting children from predators who commit these heinous crimes against our community’s most vulnerable members,” said U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy.
The prosecutions are part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched by the U.S. Department of Justice in 2006 to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse via the Internet. The program’s primary goal is to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children through pornography and sex trafficking as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
- Tyson Lee Channell Age: 29 Case Number: 13cr1372-AJB Sentenced by U.S. District Judge Anthony J. Battaglia to 10 years in prison, followed by 10 years of supervised release, for acting as a pimp to a 14-year-old girl, at one point taking her to Las Vegas to work as a prostitute. Channel pleaded guilty in April of 2013 to transportation of a minor to engage in prostitution.
- Jamal Leland Landrum Age: 26 Case Number: 13cr1227-AJB Sentenced to 10 years in prison by U.S. District Judge Anthony J. Battaglia for sex trafficking of a 15-year-old girl in El Cajon. Landrum pleaded guilty in June of 2013 to sex trafficking of a minor.
- James Michael DiSalvo Age: 55 Case Number: 13cr4165-GPC Sentenced to nine years by U.S. District Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel. DiSalvo pleaded guilty in February 2014 to distribution of child pornography.
- Christopher Wissmath Age: 36 Case Number: 13cr3159-JM Sentenced by U.S. District Judge Jeffrey T. Miller to 30 months in prison and seven years of supervised release. Wissmath pleaded guilty in October of 2013 to transmitting information about a minor with intent to entice the minor.
A fifth sentencing, that of Martell Davis, was scheduled to take place today but was postponed. Davis, who was wearing a T-shirt that said, “I Make Pimpin’ Look Easy” when he was arrested, pleaded guilty in September of 2013 to transportation of a minor to engage in prostitution, admitting he drove a 17-year-old girl to Yuma, Arizona, to engage in commercial sex acts. Case No. 13cr3149-JLS.
- U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)
- Federal Bureau of Investigation
- San Diego Police Department
- El Cajon Police Department
*Indictments and complaints are not evidence that the defendant committed the crime charged. All defendants are presumed innocent until the United States meets its burden in court of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.