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Child Exploitation
04/01/2010

Central Ohio nurse indicted for distributing child porn online

COLUMBUS, Ohio - A federal grand jury here Thursday indicted a central Ohio man on six counts of distributing child pornography.

Michael D. Dunbar, 48, of Fredericktown, Ohio, is a registered nurse who has worked for home health care agencies in Knox, Richland and Franklin counties and has worked as an independent home health care worker in Franklin and Fairfield counties.

Carter M. Stewart, U. S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Brian Moskowitz, special agent in charge of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Investigations in Ohio and Michigan, and Knox County Sheriff David B. Barber announced the indictment returned today.

According to court documents, an investigator with an Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force in Virginia was patrolling the Internet in October 2009 looking for people distributing child pornography. The undercover officer created a private chat session with an individual identifying himself as “Patnted3”. In that session and five subsequent sessions, the individual sent the undercover officer a total of 100 digital images of prepubescent boys engaged in explicit sexual activity.

The information was shared with ICE agents, who determined that the internet address traced back to Dunbar's home in Knox County. Task Force officers, assisted by Knox County Sheriff's deputies, searched Dunbar's home on March 2, 2010, and seized his computers.

Each count is punishable by at least five years and up to 20 years imprisonment.

"Employment records indicate that Dunbar has had access to homes where children with severe disabilities lived," Stewart said. "I would like to encourage families with young children who may have been visited by Dunbar to contact the Knox County Sheriff with any information."

Stewart commended the cooperative investigation by ICE agents and Knox County Sheriff's deputies, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Hunter, who is prosecuting the case. Stewart also thanked the Ohio Board of Nursing for their cooperation in the investigation.

This investigation is part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE 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. Since Operation Predator was launched in July 2003, ICE agents have arrested more than 12,000 individuals.

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 .

This case is being prosecuted 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 the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, 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 http://www.projectsafechildhood.gov.