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Child Exploitation
03/22/2012

Alabama man sentenced to 70 months in prison for possession of child pornography

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – An Alabama man who worked as an X-ray technician at a local children's hospital was sentenced Thursday to serve 70 months in federal prison for possession of child pornography.

The sentencing follows an investigation conducted by special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Alabama Internet Crimes against Children Task Force, Alabama Bureau of Investigation and the Alabama District Attorney's Association.

David Scott Burton, 39, was also ordered to remain on supervised release for the rest of his life after completing his prison sentence.

Burton, who worked as an X-ray technician at Children's of Alabama for about eight years, was indicted in October and pleaded guilty in January to one count of possession of child pornography. Burton was fired from Children's after the case came to light. Police searched Burton's home and arrested him in September after finding images of child pornography on computer equipment at his home.

According to court documents, the Alabama Internet Crimes against Children Task Force investigated Burton after a computer, traced to his residence, was identified as distributing child pornography over the Internet from a peer-to-peer file-sharing program. The child pornography found on Burton's computer included images of children under the age of 12 engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

"Protecting our children from individuals like this, who prey upon and sexually exploit children, is a top priority for HSI," said Raymond R. Parmer Jr., special agent in charge of HSI New Orleans. "Sexual predators should know that HSI will do everything in its power and use every tool at its disposal to keep our children safe – whether the potential victims are around the block or around the world." Parmer oversees responsibility for the states of Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana.

This case was prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 that aims to combat the proliferation of technology-facilitated sexual exploitation crimes against children. Led by United States Attorneys' Offices, 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/.

This investigation was also part of Operation Predator, an ongoing HSI initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders and child sex traffickers. HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423 or via its online tip form. The hotline is staffed around the clock by investigators.

Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Fortune prosecuted the case.