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Child Exploitation

Former children's author sentenced in child pornography case

PORTLAND, Ore. - A published children's author from Portland, Ore., was sentenced Thursday to six years in prison after pleading guilty to two counts of possessing child pornography, following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the FBI.

Kevin Patrick Bath, 51, who wrote under the name K.P. Bath, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Ancer L. Haggerty. After serving his prison sentence, Bath will be subject to a five-year term of supervised release and be required to register as a sex offender.

Bath was originally charged with transporting, distributing, receiving and possessing child pornography. The counts charging transportation, distribution, and receipt of child pornography were dismissed as part of a plea agreement between Bath and the government. Under the agreement, Bath could ask the court for a sentence of not less than six years in prison, while the government could seek a sentence of not more than seven years in prison.

The investigation revealed that Bath had actively traded images of child pornography with at least two different collectors in at least two separate states - Washington and Ohio. Those individuals were prosecuted separately in their home states. Following the execution of a federal search warrant at Bath's North Portland residence in June 2008, investigators found a large collection of still images and video clips depicting child pornography - including images and videos depicting sadistic conduct, rape, sodomy, and bestiality - on computer equipment and data storage media owned by Bath. Many of the videos graphically depict the sexual abuse of very young children.

"Child pornography indelibly victimizes our kids," said U.S. Attorney Dwight Holton.  "It is a permanent record of the sexual abuse of children, many of whom are very, very young. It is shocking that a children's author would contribute to the trauma these kids endure - both physical and emotional trauma from the sexual abuse itself, and psychological trauma from knowing that images of that abuse are circulating on the Internet - by trading in such images."

He added, "We will continue to aggressively pursue and prosecute those who traffic in and collect those horrible, degrading images."

"This sentence should serve as a sobering reminder about the consequences facing those who use the Internet to trade and collect child pornography," said Leigh Winchell, special agent in charge of the ICE Office of Homeland Security Investigations in Portland. "ICE has a message for those involved in this type of activity who think they can escape justice by hiding in cyberspace. This is not a victimless crime. We will use every tool at our disposal to end the sexual exploitation of children and keep our children safe, whether they are around the block or around the world."

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 U. S. 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.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U. S. Attorney Gary Sussman, Project Safe Childhood Coordinator for the District of Oregon.

ICE's participation in this case was part of their initiative known as Operation Predator, an ongoing enforcement effort targeting those who sexually exploit children. The public is encouraged to report suspected child predators and suspicious activity by contacting ICE's 24-hour toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE; or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678, or online at http://www.cybertipline.com.