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Child Exploitation

Former child care worker sentenced to 70 years in federal prison for sexual exploitation of children

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – A former preschool worker who posted online babysitting ads on the Internet was sentenced Friday to 70 years in federal prison followed by a lifetime of supervised release based on his convictions for sexual exploitation of a child.

Corey James Loftin, 24, pleaded guilty May 31 to one count of sexual exploitation of a minor; two counts of attempted sexual exploitation of a minor; one count of enticement of a minor; one count of receipt of images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct; and one count of distribution of images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. The charges stem from a probe by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). The 70-year sentence was imposed by U.S. District Judge Janis L. Sammartino.

"The job of protecting our children from trusted individuals who sexually exploit them is one of federal law enforcement's highest priorities," said U.S. Attorney Laura E. Duffy. "This defendant will now pay the consequences for his crimes against children."

"While no prison sentence can ever compensate for the physical and emotional harm caused by online child predators, this lengthy jail term should serve as a sobering warning about the consequences for those who use the Internet to prey on the most vulnerable members of our society," said U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director John Morton. "Online predators who believe cyberspace protects them from detection are mistaken. ICE Homeland Security Investigations will continue to use all of the resources at its disposal to protect our children from this despicable form of victimization."

According to the plea agreement, from 2008 to April 29, 2011, Loftin used a computer to communicate by video with two minor females (both born in 2001) in Pennsylvania to persuade them to engage in sexually explicit conduct. During this same time frame, Loftin sent text messages to Michael Bonsignore, an adult male in Pennsylvania, to request that he video record himself performing various sex acts with one or both of the female children and send the videos to Loftin. Bonsignore is being prosecuted in the Middle District of Pennsylvania and entered guilty pleas earlier this year. Pursuant to the plea agreement, the parties agreed that Bonsignore should be sentenced to 25 years in custody.

In his plea, Loftin also admitted that on or about March 15, 2010, and January 17, 2011, he used a cell phone camera to take photographs of two different minor females (under the age of 7) at a preschool in San Diego County where he worked. Finally, Loftin admitted to receiving and distributing child pornography depicting the two minor females from Pennsylvania and other unidentified children via the Internet.

Loftin was prosecuted by the San Diego County District Attorney's Office for various counts of child molestation for the contact offenses that occurred in San Diego. In September, Loftin was sentenced to 70 years to life for those offenses.

The federal case in San Diego was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Alessandra P. Serano.

Defendant Loftin has been in custody since his arrest by HSI special agents in El Cajon in April 2011.

This case was brought as part of the Department of Justice's Project Safe Childhood and HSI's Operation Predator. Both are nationwide initiatives to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, to 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.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."

HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.

Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678).

HSI is a founding member and the U.S. representative of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.