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Child Exploitation

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A federal judge has sentenced reality TV’s Josh Duggar to about 12 1/2 years in prison for his conviction on one count of receiving child pornography. Prosecutors had asked the court to sentence the former “19 Kids and Counting” star on Wednesday to the maximum 20 years. Duggar’s lawyers sought a five-year prison term. Duggar was arrested in April 2021 after authorities found child pornography on a computer at a car dealership that he owned. He maintains his innocence and his attorneys say they will appeal. TLC cancelled the show featuring Duggar and his large family in 2015 amid allegations that he molested five girls years earlier, including four of his sisters.

A man who was charged by federal prosecutors with producing child pornography after former Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin issued a commutation for state sex crime convictions has been sentenced to eight years in prison. News outlets report 28-year-old Dayton R. Jones received the sentence on Tuesday in federal court in Paducah. It was less than the 10 years prosecutors had sought, but more than defense lawyers had requested. The federal charge against Jones stemmed from events that led to sodomy and other state charges in 2014. Bevin commuted his 15-year sentence in 2019. Federal prosecutors charged Jones the following year. Bevin issued hundreds of pardons before leaving office, prompting criticism from some.

A judge has approved yet another sentencing delay for a former Florida tax collector who was a close associate of U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz. U.S. District Judge Gregory Presnell said in an order Monday that a sealed status report filed by prosecutors justifies postponing the sentencing of Joel Greenberg until August. Greenberg has been cooperating in an ongoing investigation of allegations that Gaetz paid a 17-year-old girl for sex. Gaetz has denied any wrongdoing and claims the allegations are an extortion plot. Greenberg is the former Seminole County tax collector. He pleaded guilty last year to six federal crimes and faces up to 12 years in prison.

A manager at an Arby’s fast food restaurant in Washington state has been accused of urinating into a milkshake mix that might then have been served to dozens of people. The Columbian newspaper reports police in Vancouver uncovered footage of the 29-year-old man peeing into a bag of milkshake mix as they were executing a search warrant on his phone as part of a child pornography investigation. Court documents say the manager acknowledged urinating into the mix, but said he was “almost sure” he threw the bag away. He told detectives that if he didn’t throw the bag away, it would have been served to customers.

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A divorced Indiana couple who prosecutors say shared sexually explicit photos and videos of children with former Subway pitchman Jared Fogle were sentenced Monday to decades in prison. The Justice Department says a federal judge on Monday sentenced 40-year-old Angela Baldwin, of Connersville, to 33 years and four months in prison. A jury convicted her in October of four child porn counts. Her ex-husband Russell Taylor, who ran a nonprofit Fogle founded, pleaded guilty last year to 30 child porn and sexual exploitation counts for his acts against nine children. The 50-year-old Taylor was sentenced earlier Monday to 27 years in prison. Fogle is serving a 15-year sentence on child porn and other charges.

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A divorced Indiana couple who prosecutors say shared sexually explicit photos and videos of children with former Subway pitchman Jared Fogle were sentenced Monday to decades in prison. The Justice Department says a federal judge on Monday sentenced 40-year-old Angela Baldwin, of Connersville, to 33 years and four months in prison. A jury convicted her in October of four child porn counts. Her ex-husband Russell Taylor, who ran a nonprofit Fogle founded, pleaded guilty last year to 30 child porn and sexual exploitation counts for his acts against nine children. The 50-year-old Taylor was sentenced earlier Monday to 27 years in prison. Fogle is serving a 15-year sentence on child porn and other charges.

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The U.S. announced Monday it is imposing financial penalties on five people accused of fundraising for the Islamic State group and using the funds to help traffic children to serve as fighters for the organization. The Treasury Department says they are pivotal actors who helped extremists travel to Syria and other regions where IS operates. Dwi Dahlia Susanti and her accomplices are accused of facilitating money transfers from Indonesia, Turkey, and Syria. The Treasury Department says Sustani used the funds to “smuggle teenage children out of the camps to the desert, where they were received by (IS) foreign fighters, likely as child recruits" for IS. 

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Attorneys for Keith Raniere want a new federal judge to consider a motion for new trial that argues federal authorities framed the former leader of the cult-like NXIVM group by planting child pornography on a computer hard drive. Raniere’s lawyers filed court papers Friday taking aim at U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis. They allege the judge showed a “lack of judicial temperament” and personal distaste for Raniere throughout the case. Raniere was sentenced to 120 years in federal prison for a sex-trafficking conspiracy. Federal prosecutors have not yet responded to the new filing but have denied Raniere’s claims of evidence tampering.

Grand Forks police and federal agents seized video discs and other items from the home of North Dakota’s longest-serving state senator after he had traded scores of text messages with a man jailed on child pornography charges. According to a police report, a Grand Forks police detective and two Homeland Security special agents searched Ray Holmberg’s home on Nov. 17.  Holmberg would not comment on the search.  It came about three months after Holmberg exchanged 72 text messages with Nicholas James Morgan-Derosier as Morgan-Derosier was held in the Grand Forks County Jail.   

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A judge has ruled that a former Maine gubernatorial candidate charged with possession of child pornography can get back online. That's despite Eliot Cutler possessing thousands of videos of children being sexually abused. An affidavit was unsealed Tuesday as a defense attorney attended an initial court appearance on behalf of Cutler, a wealthy attorney. A judge modified Cutler's bail conditions to allow him to have access to the internet for banking and other legal activities. A special monitoring software would produce alerts if sexually explicit images are accessed. Cutler ran for governor twice as an independent, using his personal wealth to bankroll both campaigns. He didn't enter a plea Tuesday.

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