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Child Exploitation

Anchorage psychotherapist sentenced to 22 years for child pornography crimes

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A local psychotherapist, who specialized in treating children of military personnel, was sentenced Monday to 22 years in prison for producing and receiving child pornography, following a multi-agency probe involving U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Andrew William Young, 48, of Anchorage, Alaska, was sentenced by Senior U.S. District Judge John W. Sedwick. Upon completion of his prison term, Young must serve a lifetime of supervised release.

Previously, Young pleaded guilty to taking photographs of a boy, believed to be approximately 12 years old, and for receiving and possessing sexually explicit videos and images of hundreds of other children. Prosecutors say Young's crimes included not only producing child pornography, but also collecting more than 747 videos and 4,300 pictures of child pornography, among them materials depicting bestiality with children, bondage, and depictions of violence.

Young reported embarrassment about being in court, but alleged his involvement with child pornography was for research purposes. Judge Sedwick stated, "I don't doubt it's for gratification."

In ordering Young's sentence, Judge Sedwick noted the "very, very serious" nature of these child exploitation crimes, and stated that they "steal children's childhood. I can't imagine a worse thief." Judge Sedwick noted these acts were "unspeakably horrible things to do to a child," and commented that "any sentence ought to nail down that this is serious."

U.S. Attorney Karen L. Loeffler commended ICE HSI, the Anchorage Police Department, and Alaska State Troopers for their work on the case as part of Alaska's Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood combines federal, state and local resources to better identify, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.