BISMARCK, N.D. — A Minot, N.D. man pleaded guilty on Monday to one count of possessing child pornography before U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland, announced U.S. Attorney Timothy Purdon, District of North Dakota. The investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), with assistance from the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
Judge Hovland sentenced Christopher Newman, 22, to five years in a federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release. Newman was also ordered to pay a $100 special assessment to the Crime Victim's Fund, and he must register as a sex offender.
Newman was discovered during an international investigation, which focused on a targeted pay-per-view website, located outside the United States, offering images and videos depicting the sexual abuse of minors.
He was identified as an individual who used a credit card to pay for access to the website. He admitted purchasing a 30-day access pass to the website in 2006 and two additional 30-day passes in 2008. He also admitted to purchasing access to the websites on four separate occasions, with the most recent purchase in August 2009. Newman admitted paying for the memberships to access images depicting minors being sexually exploited.
Based upon these admissions, federal authorities seized two computers from Newman. Both computers contained images depicting the sexual exploitation of minors.
This investigation was 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.
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.