Local

16 Indicted In ‘Lost Boy’ Child Porn Bust

Int'l probe focused on 'Lost Boy' photo, video exchange
View Comments
Steven Martinez, Assistant Director of the FBI in Los Angeles, speaks to reporters on December 14, 2010 in Los Angeles during a press conference after the "Lost Boy" international child pornography ring was dismantled. The "Lost Boy" bulletin board allowed members to access pornographic images of hundred of boys who where victimized for sexual purposes. Other members of the network where located in Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany and New Zealand.    (GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)

Steven Martinez, Assistant Director of the FBI in Los Angeles, speaks to reporters on December 14, 2010 in Los Angeles during a press conference after the “Lost Boy” international child pornography ring was dismantled. The “Lost Boy” bulletin board allowed members to access pornographic images of hundred of boys who where victimized for sexual purposes. Other members of the network where located in Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany and New Zealand. (GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Sixteen people were indicted in connection with an
international investigation into an Internet bulletin board called “Lost Boy” that allowed users to trade child pornography photos and videos, federal prosecutors in Los Angeles announced Tuesday.

One of the defendants, 44-year-old David Michael Fagerness, of Georgia, pleaded guilty Monday to conspiracy to transport child pornography. Fagerness, who moved to the Czech Republic after being convicted of possession of child pornography in Florida in 2005, faces 15 years in prison when he is sentenced June 6.

According to federal prosecutors, five people have already pleaded guilty for their roles in the child-porn ring, and two others are expected to plead guilty soon.

Eight more defendants alleged to be members face various federal charges, including engaging in a child exploitation enterprise, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years. Trial in those cases is set for April 26.

“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 investigation by officials here in the United States, working in conjunction with their law enforcement counterparts around the globe, shut down an international child pornography ring and will hopefully bring some justice to the numerous victims. As a result of this investigation, authorities also discovered individuals who abused children, made their own child pornography
and shared their disturbing product with others on the Internet,” he said.

KNX 1070’s Ed Mertz reports

The bulletin board used sophisticated procedures to enable members to produce and share child pornography, which included a handbook on how to groom potential victims, he said.

The four other defendants who have already pleaded guilty are:
— Andrew Neil Scott, 30, of Michigan;
— Anthony Jasso, 46, of Laguna Beach and Redlands, who also belonged to
a Southern California club called “Boy Lovers,” according to prosecutors;
— Justin Lee, 33, of Phoenix; and
— Woodrow Tracy, 65, of Sun Valley.

According to prosecutors, Joshua Boras, 33, of Michigan, and Joseph Hines, 21, of Lake Tahoe, are expected to plead guilty in the coming days.

The investigation began when European officials learned that a North Hollywood man — Harout Hagop Sarafian, 25 — was communicating with an Italian national about child sex tourism in Romania, according to prosecutors.

Further investigation led to the discovery of the Lost Boy bulletin board, which had 35 members, 15 of whom were U.S. citizens, officials said.

“American police, in fact police worldwide, must work together as a team to pursue these international predators. This case shows we certainly can and do,” said Sheriff Lee Baca.

In addition to Sarafian, the other defendants awaiting trial are:
— Ryan Hawthorne, 27, of South Carolina;
— Jason Morris, 45, of Oregon;
— Jonathon Sadduth, 21, of Illinois;
— Futoshi Tachino, 31, of Canada;
— Billy Wade Carroll, 50, of Ohio; and
— Joseph Tierney, a Boston resident, who was working with the Peace Corp in Honduras when he was charged and expelled from that country, prosecutors said.

A 53-year-old Los Angeles lawyer, James Criscione, a registered sex offender, died after being arrested before he could be tried.

Christopher Klein, 46, of Ohio, has been indicted in the case but a trial date has not yet been set because he is also facing child pornography charges in Ohio.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

View Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,679 other followers