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Child Exploitation
01/31/2011

Canadian John Wrenshall sentenced on child porn charges

Worldwide endeavor brought man to justice

NEWARK, N.J. - John Wrenshall, 64, was sentenced to 300 months in prison for inviting men to travel from around the world to his home in Thailand in order to sexually abuse young boys. The investigation was conducted by special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Peter T. Edge, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Newark stated: "Criminals who prey on children are committing unspeakable acts, causing irreparable harm and robbing the innocent of their innocence. HSI will track down these criminals, wherever they think they can hide, arrest them and bring them to justice."

Wrenshall, a Canadian citizen, admitted that from at least as early as January 2000, he arranged trips to his home during which U.S. citizens and others paid him to engage in anal sex, oral sex, and other sexual acts with Thai boys, some as young as four years old. Wrenshall's customers were allowed to videotape and photograph their abuse. Wrenshall also personally victimized the boys in order to "train" them for his paying customers.

Wrenshall was indicted by a federal grand jury in New Jersey in August 2008 after authorities learned that Wayne Nelson Corliss had traveled to Wrenshall's home to engage in illegal sexual acts with minor boys. Wrenshall was arrested at London's Heathrow Airport in December 2008 by London's Metropolitan Police, with HSI agents, and was extradited to the United States in July 2009 to face the New Jersey indictment.

Corliss, formerly of Union City, New Jersey, was the first of Wrenshall's clients identified by law enforcement officers. In May 2008, Interpol released a sanitized photograph of a man sexually abusing young Thai boys to media outlets in the United States and abroad, and made a global appeal for information that could identify the offender depicted in the photo. Within 48 hours, and acting on information obtained from individuals who recognized the offender as Corliss, ICE, coordinating with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey and the Department of Justice's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), located and arrested Corliss in Union City, N.J.

When HSI agents seized Corliss' three computers they found over 1,000 images, many of which contained photos of Corliss engaged in sexual activity with minors.

The release of Corliss' photo represented only the second time that Interpol has made such a public appeal to identify a suspected child predator. Interpol and ICE are partners in the Virtual Global Task Force, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies committed to joint, international enforcement efforts designed to keep children safe from sexual predators around the world.

Three of Wrenshall's U.S. clients - Corliss, Burgess Lee Burgess, and Mitchell Kent Jackson - have already pleaded guilty and have been sentenced on sex tourism and related charges. Corliss received 20 years in prison; and both Burgess and Jackson each were sentenced to 78 months in prison.

In addition to the prison term, Wrenshall was sentenced to three years of supervised release, referring to Wrenshall as a, "repeat, dangerous sexual offender."

ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE. This 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.