NEW ORLEANS — A Louisiana man was sentenced Wednesday to more than 19 years in federal prison for production of child pornography, following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office.
According to court documents, Cedric Conner, 36, of Lafayette, La., sexually abused a 7-year-old under his care and took photographs of her in sexually explicit poses as well as explicit images of himself while in the presence of the victim. The images were produced via cell phone and then transmitted by text messaging.
Special Agent in Charge Raymond R. Parmer Jr. of HSI New Orleans said "sexually abusing a child under your care is one of the most extreme violations of trust imaginable and anyone tempted to engage in such despicable behavior should turn themselves in and seek help. Combating sexual predators is one of our highest priorities and criminals should take note that those who harm the innocent will be exposed and brought to justice."
Conner pled guilty to production of child pornography June 11 after being indicted by a federal grand jury in the Western District of Louisiana March 14 on one count of production of child pornography. Following his prison term, Conner will be required to register as a sex offender and also to serve 15 years supervised release. During his supervised release Conner is prohibited from having contact with any child unless the child's parent is present.
U.S. Attorney Stephanie A. Finley prosecuted the case on behalf of the federal government.
"We hope that this sentence sends a very strong message that people who exploit children will pay a heavy price for their actions. My office, along with our federal, state and local partners will continue to prosecute these cases to the fullest extent of the law," said Finley.
This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI 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. 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.