An Iowa man was sentenced to 20 years in prison today in the District of Massachusetts for enticing a 10-year-old girl to engage in sexually explicit conduct online, which he directed and watched live via a webcam.
Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz of the District of Massachusetts and Inspector in Charge Shelly Binkowski of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Court Chief Judge Patti B. Saris of the District of Massachusetts.
Joshua Dunfee, 32, of Oxford Junction, Iowa, pleaded guilty in March 2014 to enticing a child to engage in illicit sexual activity and using a child to produce child pornography.
According to admissions in connection with his guilty plea, Dunfee posed as “John” from “Hunt Photography” on Facebook and communicated with a Massachusetts mother who was seeking employment as a model. In October 2011, Dunfee contacted the mother and told her that Hunt Photography had a client willing to pay $20,000 for a mother-daughter bikini modeling contract. Dunfee told the mother that in order to apply she would need to audition her daughter for him immediately, and persuaded the mother to take her 10 year-old daughter out of school.
Dunfee further admitted that he directed the mother to “audition” her daughter via webcam in a 48-minute video call. Knowing that she was a minor, Dunfee directed that the 10 year-old girl be posed in a bra and underwear and then completely naked.
On Nov. 3, 2011, federal agents executed a search warrant at Dunfee’s residence, where law enforcement had traced the illicit conduct via IP address records. A forensic examination of Dunfee’s computers revealed his use of Facebook, Skype and Windows Live Messenger Chat to communicate online while posing as Hunt Photography.
The case was investigated by the USPIS, the Jones County Iowa Sheriff’s Office, the Massachusetts State Police, the Attleboro Police Department and the Justice Department’s High Technology Investigative Unit. Substantial assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Iowa.
The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Herbrina Sanders of the Justice Department’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) and Assistant U.S. Attorney Stacy Dawson Belf of the District of Massachusetts.
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 U.S. Attorneys’ offices and 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.