Clearwater Man Sentenced to 90 Years for Production of Child Pornography
TAMPA, FL—U.S. District Judge Susan C. Bucklew today sentenced Steven Edward Speer (28, Clearwater) to 90 years in federal prison for five counts of producing child pornography. The court also ordered him to forfeit a computer and cell phone that he had used to the commit the offenses. Speer pleaded guilty on June 24, 2014.
According to court documents, in November 2013, the FBI and other local law enforcement agencies executed a federal search warrant at Speer’s residence based on information that he was trading child pornography. During the search, agents located and seized Speer’s computer and cell phone. Six videos and more than 1,900 images of child pornography were found on the phone. Many of the images and videos depicted a three year-old autistic child. Speer confessed to engaging in sex acts with this child, and producing the images and videos of the abuse. He further admitted that he had distributed the child pornography he produced over the Internet in order to gain access to additional child pornography from others.
“The message should be crystal clear. One of our highest priorities is to protect our children. Possessing, viewing, and especially producing child pornography are evil acts that infect our society. Today’s sentence demonstrates such acts will not be tolerated. No child should ever be abused,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Paul Wysopal.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Clearwater Police Department, and members of the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force, including the St. Petersburg Police Department and the Largo Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer L. Peresie. This 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, 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.