FRESNO, Calif. - A 28-year-old Colorado man was indicted Thursday by a local federal grand jury for producing sexually explicit images of an infant whom investigators ultimately determined lived in Bakersfield, Calif.
Shawn Joseph McCormack, of Black Forest, Colo., is accused of sexually exploiting the child. The indictment is the result of an extensive investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents in Bakersfield; Colorado Springs, Colo.; and Boston, along with the Bakersfield and Colorado Springs police departments.
According to the indictment, on March 28, 2009, McCormack produced sexually explicit images and videos of a baby from Bakersfield.
"For most people, criminal acts against children are impossible to comprehend, but for the children who have been sexually exploited, these crimes are all too real," said Michael Toms, resident agent in charge of ICE HSI in Bakersfield. "The physical and emotional scars are difficult, if not impossible, to outgrow. This indictment demonstrates the successful collaborative efforts of HSI, the Bakersfield Police Department, and our law enforcement partners to ensure that child molesters and online predators get the justice they deserve."
McCormack is currently in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service and is set to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sheila K. Oberto Sept. 30. If convicted, he faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years and a maximum of 30 years in prison, along with a fine of $250,000.
This 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 via 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 its 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.