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Child Exploitation
06/06/2011

U.S. Virgin Islands man indicted on child porn charges

ST. THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands - A U.S. Virgin Islands man was indicted on Thursday for possession and production of child pornography and charged with 24 local counts of aggravated rape in the first degree, following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the U.S. Virgin Islands Police Department.

Akeem R. Gumbs was charged with five federal counts of producing child pornography involving a minor under the age of 18, possessing child pornography, and 24 local counts of aggravated rape in the first degree.

"The sexual exploitation of children is a despicable crime," said ICE HSI Special Agent in Charge in San Juan Escobar Vargas. "Working in conjunction with our state, local and federal law enforcement partners, we will continue aggressively pursuing those who victimize the most vulnerable segment of our society, our children."

According to counts one through six of the indictment, from about September 2009 to March 2011, Gumbs used a person under the age of 18 to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing child pornography.

The indictment further alleges in counts seven through 31, that from approximately September 2009 through March 2011, Gumbs did knowingly perpetrate acts of sexual intercourse and sodomy with a person under the age of 13.

The statutory penalty for production of child pornography under federal law is a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years in prison per count. The maximum sentence for possessing child pornography is 10 years in prison. Additionally each federal offense carries a $250,000 fine. The statutory punishment for the local offense of aggravated rape in the first degree is a mandatory minimum penalty of seven years in prison per count.

This investigation was part of Operation Predator, an ICE-led 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.

Individuals with information about suspected child predators are encouraged to call 1 866 DHS 2ICE. For more information, visit www.ice.gov.