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Child Exploitation

Sacramento man indicted for traveling overseas to have sex with children

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A federal grand jury returned a four-count superseding indictment Thursday charging a Sacramento man with conspiring to travel abroad to have sex with children along with receiving, possessing and distributing child pornography.

James E. Johnston, 69, is named in the indictment which stems from an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

The indictment alleges that between May and September 2006, Johnston conspired with another person to go to the Philippines to have sex with a child. The indictment also alleges that in May 2006, Johnson conspired with another person to produce pictures of children engaged in sex acts. Finally, Johnston is accused of receiving child pornography in August 2006 and possessing child pornography between October 2005 and September 2006. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Heiko Coppola and Kyle Reardon.

If convicted of all of the charges, Johnson faces a maximum sentence of up to 90 years in prison. The child sex tourism charge alone carries a possible prison term of up to 30 years.

The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the federal sentencing guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.

This case is part of ICE's Operation Predator, a nationwide initiative to identify, investigate and arrest those who sexually exploit children, and the Department of Justice's Project Safe Childhood, which marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet.

As part of 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. Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing and http://www.cybertipline.com.

Through Project Safe Childhood (PSC), the Department of Justice is seeking to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, PSC mobilizes federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For additional information on the PSC initiative, go to www.projectsafechildhood.gov or call the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of California and ask to speak with the PSC coordinator.