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Child Exploitation

Bakersfield-area man sentenced to 15 years for producing child pornography

FRESNO, Calif. – A Central California man has been sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for producing child pornography following a multi-agency investigation involving U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Eric Crosby, 37, of Tehachapi, Calif., was sentenced Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Anthony W. Ishii. In addition to the 15-year jail term, Crosby will be subject to 15 years of supervision following his release.

According to court documents, Crosby persuaded a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct and videotaped and took still images of that conduct. On June 20, Crosby pleaded guilty and has been in federal custody since that time.

"This sentence serves as a strong reminder that the sexual exploitation of children is a crime that will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," said Michael Toms, resident agent in charge for ICE HSI in Bakersfield. "Those who prey on society's most vulnerable must be made to understand there are serious consequences for their crimes and the anonymity of cyberspace affords them no protection."

This case is the result of an extensive investigation by the San Joaquin Valley's Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, ICE HSI and the Kern County Sheriff's Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian W. Enos prosecuted the case.

The investigation is part of ICE's Operation Predator, a nationwide initiative to identify, investigate and arrest those who sexually exploit children, and the Department of Justice's Project Safe Childhood, which marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children using the Internet.

As part of Operation Predator, ICE 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. 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.