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Child Exploitation

ER doctor sentenced to 5 years following child pornography charges

DETROIT - A traveling emergency room doctor, whose last listed address was in Michigan, was sentenced Wednesday after pleading guilty to possession of child pornography following an investigation by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

David Thorson, 38, was arrested by HSI special agents in February at Detroit Metro Airport after a secondary inspection revealed hundreds of images and videos of suspected child pornography in his possession. According to the investigation, Thorson consented to a search of his laptop which confirmed the content for HSI agents.

Thorson was sentenced to five years in federal prison followed by five supervised release.

"The possession of child pornography is not a victimless crime," said Brian M. Moskowitz, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Detroit. "The sentence in this case is reflective of the harm that is inflicted on the most vulnerable members of our society, our children. Hopefully, it will get the attention of and serve as a deterrent to anyone else considering engaging in such activity."

This investigation is part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE 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.

Moskowitz acknowledged the assistance of U.S. Customs and Border Protection for their role in the case.

ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE. 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.

Launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice, Project Safe Childhood is a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, 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.