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June 21, 2017Honolulu, HI, United StatesChild Exploitation

Hawaii man sentenced to 10 years in prison for possessing and distributing child pornography

HONOLULU – A Hawaii man was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in prison on state child pornography charges stemming from a probe by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Hawaii Internet Crimes Against Children (HICAC).

Donovan Soto, 54, of Ewa Beach, was previously convicted of possessing and distributing child pornography. The material recovered during the investigation included more than 94 movie files, 58 of which depicted children under the age of 12. Nine of the files showed children being bound or tortured. The case was prosecuted by the Hawaii Attorney General’s Office.

“Child pornography is child abuse,” said Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin. “Children were hurt when these movies and pictures were made and they were hurt again every time they were watched and shared. The 10-year prison term this man received is appropriate.”

Soto was charged with two counts of child abuse in the second degree and one count of child abuse in the third degree. The second degree charges were punishable by up to 10 years in prison and the third degree charge was punishable by up to five years in prison. The prosecution asked the court to sentence Soto to an open 10-year prison term for the second degree counts and a five-year prison term for the third degree counts, which the court did, sentencing the defendant to serve the terms concurrently. Soto began serving his prison term Wednesday.

HSI’s participation in this investigation was conducted under the auspices of Operation Predator, HSI’s international initiative to protect children from sexual predators. Since its launch in 2003, Operation Predator has resulted in the arrest of 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.

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.

Updated: 06/26/2017