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December 4, 2014Santa Ana, CA, United StatesChild Exploitation

Church worship leader receives 36 years to life in child sexual exploitation case

SANTA ANA, Calif. — A Huntington Beach church worship leader was sentenced Friday to 36 years to life in state prison for sexually assaulting a boy relative and producing child pornography.

Jeffrey Adam Tracy, 38, was found guilty by a jury Oct. 16 of two felony counts of oral copulation of a child 10 years old or younger; four felony counts of lewd acts upon a child under 14; and one felony count of using a minor for sex acts. The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Bobby Taghavi from the Orange County District Attorney’s Sexual Assault Unit.

In April 2013, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and other members of the Orange County Child Exploitation Task Force (OCCETF) began investigating the defendant for uploading child pornography videos on the Internet using various file sharing programs. In September 2013, members of the OCCETF executed search warrants in connection with the case. Two days later, Tracy was taken into custody.

“Tragically, it’s not uncommon for individuals targeted in cases involving the production and distribution of child pornography to also be engaged in the hands-on sexual abuse of children,” said Claude Arnold, special agent in charge for HSI Los Angeles. “What makes this case even more heartbreaking was that this predator’s young victim had a disability. Fortunately, the lengthy sentence imposed today virtually assures that no more children will fall prey to this defendant.”

During the investigation, HSI special agents discovered that between 2008 and 2012, Tracy sexually assaulted a minor male relative, John Doe, multiple times and videotaped some of the sex acts. Tracy emailed the videos of the sex acts with John Doe to various unknown individuals. John Doe was under 10 years old when the sexual assaults took place.

At the sentencing, the victim’s family members delivered impact statements. “I still get sick to this day as I cannot get the visions and words out of my mind (referring the evidence in trial), said John Doe’s grandmother. “I simply cannot understand how anyone could do such a cruel and inhumane thing to such a sweet and innocent child, or to any child.”

In addition to HSI, the OCCETF is comprised of investigators from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the United States Postal Inspection Service; and the Huntington Beach and Newport Beach police departments.