Thursday, March 2, 2006
Attorney General Abbott's Cyber Crimes Unit Obtains Indictments Against Two; iPod Used To Store Child PornAUSTIN – Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s Cyber Crimes investigators today announced grand jury indictments in two child pornography cases, including the first case handled by the Texas Attorney General’s Office involving an offender who stored sexually explicit videos of children on his iPod.
Ron James Guzman, 38, of San Marcos was indicted on Wednesday by a Hays County grand jury on nine counts of possession of child pornography, which included several lewd videos of children stored on a portable digital music player. He was also indicted on six counts of promotion of child pornography. Mike Lee Campbell, 50, of Claude was indicted on Wednesday by an Armstrong County grand jury on nine counts of possession of child pornography and two counts of promotion.
“Innovative technology has made electronic recordings and photographs more portable and accessible,” Attorney General Abbott said. “Unfortunately, sexual predators are taking advantage of these new developments in order to exploit children. Collecting and distributing child pornography is a crime, and I thank Hays County District Attorney Michael Wenk and Armstrong County District Attorney Randall Sims for their help in making Texas communities safer for all children and families.”
Cyber Crimes investigators executed a search warrant at Guzman’s San Marcos home in April 2005 after a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that he was posting sexually explicit images of children online. Forensic exams of external media and an iPod confiscated from Guzman revealed several images and video of child pornography. He was arrested by unit investigators on Jan. 11 and is being held in the Hays County Jail.
At the time of the investigation, Guzman indicated he was attending classes at Texas State University in San Marcos.
In April 2005, the indictments allege Campbell used a Web camera to display child pornography online to a person whom he thought was a 13-year-old girl. The “girl” was actually an undercover Cyber Crimes investigator. In September 2005, a search warrant was executed at the grain elevator in Claude where Campbell worked as a facility manager. A computer and external media were confiscated, and forensic exams later revealed pornographic images and video of children.
Promotion of child pornography is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Possession is a third-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000; however, a new state law that went into effect on Sept. 1, 2005, makes the possession charges stackable on punishment at the discretion of the judge. The timing of the investigation of Campbell makes him subject to the new statute, so he could face 90 years in prison on the possession charges if convicted on all nine counts.
Attorney General Abbott has made pursuing sexual predators a top priority in his administration. The Cyber Crimes Unit, which targets online predators, and the Fugitive Unit, which locates convicted child sex offenders who have violated the terms of their parole and could be stalking children, have combined for over 400 arrests of such offenders since Abbott took office in December 2002. His office also has obtained convictions against 38 men on child pornography charges.
To find out more about Attorney General Abbott’s efforts to crack down on sexual predators, visit the Attorney General’s Web site at www.texasattorneygeneral.gov or call (800) 252-8011.