DENVER—Jesse Evans, age 30, of Denver, Colorado, was arrested based on a criminal complaint late last week on charges of production and possession of child pornography, the United States Attorney’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Denver Police Department announced. The criminal complaint was obtained on June 29, 2012. The arrest took place without incident that same day. Evans has appeared in U.S. District Court in Denver on July 6, 2012, where a U.S. Magistrate Judge found that there was probable cause that he committed the child exploitation crimes. The magistrate judge also ordered Evans held in custody without bond pending a resolution of his case.
According to the facts contained in the affidavit associated with the criminal complaint, on January 3, 2012, a Denver Police Department (DPD) detective initiated a child exploitation investigation. The DPD detective, acting in an undercover capacity, downloaded child pornography from another computer that was using peer-to-peer software to share files. The IP address the detective was downloading the files from had file names indicative of child pornography.
As the investigation continued, a search warrant was obtained and executed by the DPD on February 8, 2012. The residence belonged to Evans and another person. There were multiple computers in the residence, including two laptops. The DPD detective conducted a preview of one of the laptops and located the downloaded file he obtained at the beginning of the investigation. It was later determined that Evans has access to three prepubescent minors. On February 16, 2012, the DPD detective submitted the seized computers to the Rocky Mountain Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory in Centennial, Colorado, for forensic examination. On June 20, 2012, the DPD detective received a “Report of Examination” from the laboratory. The forensic examiner noted in his report that three child pornography videos had been located on Evans laptop computer. The videos appeared to be homemade. It was also determined from this review that Evans produced sexually explicit images and videos of two prepubescent children.
On June 28, 2012, an FBI special agent who is an expert in child exploitation crimes spoke with the DPD detective. The FBI agent obtained a copy of the investigative file, which included all information obtained during the course of the investigation. The agent determined that approximately 67 images of child pornography and 16 video files of child pornography were bookmarked on one laptop, and approximately 167 images of child pornography and one video containing child pornography were found on the second laptop.
“The production of child pornography through the hands-on exploitation of children is one of the most serious offenses the U.S. Attorney’s Office prosecutes,” said U.S. Attorney John Walsh. “The charges in this case allege not only that the defendant possessed child pornography, but that he produced it, victimizing children.”
“Our Innocent Images Task Force is committed to protecting children by identifying and prosecuting sexual predators that victimize them,” said FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge James Yacone. “We will continue to work jointly with all of our law enforcement partners to stop the victimization of children.”
Denver Police Chief Robert C. White says, “We have to continue to conduct operations of this nature to protect the most vulnerable members of our community—our children. We cannot allow an adult to ever exploit or take advantage of a child.”
Evans is charged with three counts of production of child pornography, which carries a penalty of not less than 15 years and not more than 30 years in federal prison, as well as a fine of up to $250,000 per count. The defendant is also charged with possession of child pornography, which carries a penalty of not more than 10 years in federal prison, and a fine of up to $250,000. Lastly, Evans is charged with distribution of child pornography, which carries a penalty of not less than five years and not more than 20 years in federal prison, and a fine of up to $250,000.
This case was investigated by the Denver Police Department (DPD) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The Denver District Attorney’s Office filed state charges and referred potential federal charges to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The defendant is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brenda Taylor and Judith Smith.
The criminal complaint is a probable cause charging document. Anyone accused of committing a felony violation of federal law has a Constitutional right to be indicted by a federal grand jury.
These charges are only allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.