Sixteen indicted in U.S. on child porn charges

18:15, December 15, 2010      

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Sixteen individuals who were allegedly involved in the online production and trade of child pornography materials were indicted by federal prosecutors in Los Angeles, authorities said Tuesday.

The individuals, who were users of the "Lost Boy" Internet bulletin board, traded child pornography photos and videos among themselves and with other members. The group had 35 members, 15 of whom are U.S. citizens, prosecutors said.

"The Lost Boy bulletin board allowed members to access pornographic images of hundreds of boys who were victimized for sexual purposes," U.S.Attorney Andre Birotte Jr. said.

The bulletin board used sophisticated procedures which enabled members to produce and share child pornography, which included a handbook on how to groom potential victims, Birotte said. The ring members also abused children, made their own child pornography and shared their products with others on the Internet.

Five defendants have already pleaded guilty for their roles in the child-porn ring, and two others -- Joshua Boras, 33, of Michigan, and Joseph Hines, 21, of Lake Tahoe -- are expected to plead guilty soon, the prosecutors said.

David Michael Fagerness, 44, pleaded guilty Monday to conspiracy to transport child pornography. He faces 15 years in prison when he is sentenced on June 6. Fagerness, of Georgia, went to the Czech Republic after being convicted of possessing child pornography in Florida in 2005.

When European officials learned that a North Hollywood man, Harout Hagop Sarafian, 25, was communicating with an Italian citizen about child sex tourism in Romania, they launched an investigation, prosecutors said.

Further investigation led to the discovery of the ring, they said.

Source: Xinhua
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