PHILADELPHIA - Christopher Binck, 54, formerly of Phoenixville, Penn., was sentenced today to eight years in prison for multiple child pornography charges as a result of an investigation led by U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE).
Binck pleaded guilty in February to receipt of child pornography, distribution of child pornography, possession of child pornography, producing obscene visual representations of the sexual abuse of children, possessing obscene visual representations of the sexual abuse of children.
Binck admitted to trading child pornography online with more than 50 different people.
Investigators discovered thousands of pornographic images of children on Binck's computer hard drives. He also admitted that he used a software program and through a process commonly referred to as "morphing" or "photoshopping," he would use non-nude and non-pornographic images of a child known to him and morph that photo onto images of actual child pornography. The resulting images made it appear as if the child Binck knew was actually engaged in the conduct.
"We prosecute child pornographers because we need to protect our children from this type of vile exploitation," said U. S. Attorney Zane David Memeger. "This defendant stole the innocence of a child he knew, callously threw it away, and has left her to forever deal with the scars that his depraved behavior has inflicted."
"People who possess, distribute and produce child pornography contribute to and perpetuate the victimization of the most vulnerable members of our society" said Special Agent in Charge John P. Kelleghan of the ICE Office of Investigations in Philadelphia. "ICE and its law enforcement partners will work to ensure these predators are held accountable for their actions."
In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence F. Stengel ordered Binck to pay restitution to the victims in the amount of $2,500.
"The protection of our children requires the combined and concerted efforts of all sectors of our society, and remains a major priority for the FBI and our law enforcement partners," said Special Agent in Charge Janice K. Fedarcyk of the Philadelphia Division of the FBI. "Through our Innocent Images Initiative, we work with other law enforcement agencies and the private sector to root out child predators and individuals responsible for the production, dissemination and possession of child abuse images, and to stop them from continuing to engage in these heinous crimes."
ICE investigated this case with the FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant U. S. Attorney Denise S. Wolf.
This 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.