PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania man was sentenced for production of child pornography Friday to 60 years in federal prison. The investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Steven Mazer, 27, of Philadelphia, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Jan E. DuBois. Mazer was a teacher at a karate school offering classes to children in the Bustleton section of Philadelphia. He pleaded guilty June 24, 2013 to two counts of production of child pornography.
In addition to the prison term, DuBois ordered a $2,500 fine and five years of supervised release.
"Today's sentencing of child predator Steven Mazer serves as a warning to other would-be predators that engaging in this despicable criminal activity will have serious consequences," said William S. Walker, acting special agent in charge of HSI Philadelphia. "HSI and our law enforcement partners are determined to stop these menaces to society who are often very patient predators; individuals like Mazer who will stop at nothing to gain access to children, preying on the most vulnerable and innocent people. They will be brought to justice for their crimes against our nation's children."
According to court documents, in December 2011, Mazer agreed to babysit a friend's two minor children, a two year-old and a three year-old. While he was babysitting, Mazer enticed and coerced the children to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of such conduct. Mazer video recorded the sexually violent acts.
This investigation was conducted under HSI's Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators. Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 10,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child pornography, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2013, more than 2,000 individuals were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative.
HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE 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.
HSI is a founding member and current chair of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.