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Child Exploitation
11/21/2017

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Former Massachusetts man pleads guilty to child pornography charges, failing to register as sex offender

BOSTON — A former Massachusetts man pleaded guilty Monday in federal court to possessing and distributing child pornography, and to failing to register as a sex offender. The offenses stem from two separate cases.

These guilty pleas resulted from an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), with the assistance of the U.S. Marshals Service for the District of Colorado; the Adams County (Colorado) Sheriff’s Department; Connecticut State Police; Quincy (Massachusetts) Police Department; and the U.S. Coast Guard.

Scot Letourneau, 44, formerly of Quincy, Massachusetts, pleaded guilty to one count of distribution of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography; and in a separate case, he pleaded guilty to failure to register as a sex offender. U.S. District Court Judge Denise J. Casper scheduled sentencing for Feb. 27, 2018.

In early 2015, law enforcement officers learned that an individual was trading images of child pornography on Kik Messenger, an instant messaging application, with an individual in Connecticut.  Further investigation linked the Kik Messenger account to Letourneau. On May 21, 2015, a search warrant was executed at Letourneau’s home, when a preliminary review of his cellphone revealed that he exchanged images of child pornography with others.  Forensic analysis revealed that Letourneau had a collection of approximately 103 videos and more than 500 images of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct and acts.

After he was arrested and charged in May 2015, the government sought to detain Letourneau pending trial based on his prior convictions, including a 2004 conviction in New Hampshire for distribution of child pornography. However, on Aug. 5, 2015, the court released Letourneau on an electronic bracelet and home confinement. On Nov. 3, 2015, Letourneau fled to New Mexico; he was apprehended in Denver in March 2017. 

In addition, as a result of his 2004 conviction, Letourneau is required to register as a sex offender, which he failed to do while living in New Mexico as a fugitive under an alias.

Due to Letourneau’s previous child pornography conviction, the current charge of distribution of child pornography provides for a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years and no greater than 40 years in prison; and the charge of possession of child pornography provides for a mandatory minimum of 10 years and no greater than 20 years in prison. Both charges provide for a mandatory minimum of five years and up to a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of $250,000.  The charge of failure to register as a sex offender provides for no greater than 10 years in prison, a mandatory minimum of five years and up to a lifetime of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Acting United States Attorney William D. Weinreb, U.S. Marshal John Gibbons for the District of Massachusetts and Michael Shea, Acting Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston made the announcement today. Assistance was also provided by the U.S. Marshals Service for the District of Colorado; the Adams County (Colo.) Sheriff’s Department; Connecticut State Police; Quincy Police Department; and U.S. Coast Guard. Assistant U.S. Attorney Suzanne Sullivan Jacobus of Weinreb’s Major Crimes Unit is prosecuting the case.

This investigation was conducted under HSI’s Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators. Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 16,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child pornography, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2016, more than 2,600 child predators were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative and more than 800 victims identified or rescued.

HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. From outside the U.S. and Canada, callers should dial 802-872-6199. Hearing impaired users can call TTY 802-872-6196.

Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST.

For additional information about wanted suspected child predators, download HSI’s Operation Predator smartphone app or visit the online suspect alerts page. HSI is a founding member of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.

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Last Reviewed/Updated: 11/21/2017