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Child Exploitation
03/03/2010

Louisiana man sentenced to 7 years in federal prison following ICE child pornography investigation

NEW ORLEANS -- Leonard Delaune, 34, was sentenced Tuesday in federal court by U. S. District Judge Jay C. Zainey to seven years in prison for crimes involving possession of child pornography, following a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) investigation.

Delaune, who was also sentenced to serve a life term of supervised release, must register as a sex offender. Additionally, Judge Zainey ordered that the defendant have no contact with any children under the age of 18 and not use computers with Internet or online access.

Delaune pled guilty on Dec. 1, 2009, to possession of child pornography. According to court documents, on April 3, 2008, ICE special agents recovered computer equipment from Delaune's residence and found the defendant in possession of approximately 700 images and 60 videos depicting the sexual victimization of children. Delaune admitted to federal agents that he knowingly downloaded images of child pornography to his computer.

"All children have an absolute right to grow up free from the fear of sexual exploitation," said Raymond R. Parmer Jr., acting special agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in New Orleans. "ICE relentlessly pursues predators who sexually abuse children, whether that abuse is physical in nature or if it's accomplished by exploiting their images. The sentencing of this man sends a strong message that ICE will not tolerate such despicable crimes. Our agents will continue to police cyber space to investigate and bring to justice those individuals who exploit the most vulnerable segment of our society -- our children."

The investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE initiative to identify, investigate and arrest those who prey on children, including human traffickers, international sex tourists, Internet pornographers, and foreign-national predators whose crimes make them deportable. Launched in July 2003, ICE agents have arrested almost 12,000 individuals through 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. 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 also involved 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 United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), 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 www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

The prosecution of this case is being handled by Project Safe Childhood Coordinator, Assistant U. S. Attorney Brian M. Klebba.