A Gainesville man allegedly sexually assaulted two girls in his care and photographed the abuse to distribute it on line.
On Monday, Mr. Michael Cannon II, 33, was arraigned on charges that he produced, distributed and received child pornography, according to the United States Attorney’s Office.
“Photographing molestation and trading the images over the internet with like-minded individuals in exchange for more child pornography is horrendous,” U.S. Attorney Mrs. Sally Quillian Yates said.
“Child pornography robs children of their innocence. It also places a permanent record of the victimization of these children on the internet. To make matters even worse, in this case the two girls were in the defendant’s care.”
Investigators said in mid-December, Mr. Cannon allegedly posted several images of a 10-year-old girl on a foreign-based website where people could post and share photographs.
At least one of the images was child pornography, according to a court document.
Several individuals posted comments on Mr. Cannon’s photographs and asked about trading photos, officials said.
“According to the information presented in court, Cannon gave them his e-mail address and, when they wrote him, he sent them explicit photographs showing him in the act of molesting two young girls,” officials said.
“In return, he received dozens of e-mails containing images and videos of other children being sexually abused.”
Special agents investigating the case were able to determine the true identities of the two children and rescued them.
If convicted, Mr. Cannon faces up to 30 years in prison for producing child pornography, up to 20 years for receiving child pornography and up to 10 for possessing child pornography.
Each charge carries a fine of up to $250,000 and a period of supervised release from five years to life.
“While HSI special agents are working around the clock and around the world to drain the cesspool that is child pornography, the identification and rescue of victims suffering at the hands of depraved child predators is of the highest priority,” said Mr. Brock D. Nicholson, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Atlanta.
“Every single law enforcement agency in this country is absolutely dedicated to hunting down these predators and holding them accountable for their despicable actions.”
Mr. Brock is asking residents to help protect the children by reporting any signs of abuse they witness.
“It will take the collective efforts of law enforcement and members of our communities to successfully bring these monsters to justice,” Mr. Brock said.
Receive daily news stories and stay current by clicking on the subscribe button at the top of the article and get automatic updates via email each time a new article is published. You may also get quick updates on articles as well as read more local news stories at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Atlanta-Public-Safety-Examiner/19583707047.