CHICAGO — A Chicago man was sentenced Monday to 28 years in federal prison for producing hundreds of photos and videos of child pornography.
This sentence resulted from an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the Van Buren Township (Michigan) Department of Public Safety (DPS).
Christopher M. Hall, 44, from Chicago, had previously pleaded guilty to one count of inducing and enticing a minor to produce child pornography, and one count of knowingly transporting child pornography. He was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Thomas M. Durkin in the Northern District of Illinois.
This investigation began when one of Hall’s victims went missing from her home in Michigan. Detectives from Van Buren Township DPS identified email communications between the girl and Hall’s email address, “email@example.com.” As part of the investigation, law enforcement searched Hall’s residence and discovered a collection of child pornography that included more than 7,000 images and videos of minors.
Authorities identified dozens of sexually exploited children in the videos and images, some of whom were under the age of 12 at the time the images were created. Nearly 30 of those victims submitted statements to the Court in advance of sentencing detailing the harm caused by their images being exploited by individuals like Hall.
One of the girls was 12-years-old when she first encountered Hall online. He groomed her through sexually explicit communications that included sending her child pornography. Hall directed each girl to write “Owned by CH” on her body, and then photograph it and send the image to Hall.
To set up the sexual encounters, Hall took or used sexually explicit photos of the girls and posted them in sex ads on Craigslist. Hall then directed the girls to have sexual intercourse with him and several men who responded to the ads, and took videos and photos of the encounters. Two of the encounters took place in Aurora, Illinois, while another occurred in Gary, Indiana.
This sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney John R. Lausch Jr., Northern District of Illinois, and Special Agent-in-Charge James M. Gibbons, HSI Chicago.
There is no parole in the federal prison system.
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.