SANTA ANA, Calif. – A California jury convicted an Orange County man Wednesday of sexually assaulting a two-year old girl while babysitting her in 2016.
Arthur William Callender, 23, of Buena Park, was found guilty in California Superior Court of penetration of a child under the age of ten, a crime that carries a maximum sentence of 50 years in state prison. He is scheduled to be sentenced on June 12, 2020.
The case is the result of an extensive investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Los Angeles and the Orange County Child Exploitation Task Force.
The evidence presented at trial showed Callender used a yahoo email address to post and share images of the toddler on the internet so that online users could publicly comment on and trade the images. Through database and social media searches, HSI investigators matched various account profiles and online postings to identify the defendant. Following a search executed at his residence in October 2016, HSI special agents arrested him based on evidence from his personal cell phone coupled with statements he made to the agents.
The Orange County Child Exploitation Task Force, led by HSI Los Angeles, collaborates with law enforcement partners on child abuse investigations and apprehends child pornographers, child sex tourists and facilitators, child molesters, and online predators. The Task Force employs the latest technology to collect evidence and track the activities of individuals and organized groups who sexually exploit children through the use of websites, chat rooms, newsgroups, and peer-to-peer trading. The mission is to target these sophisticated child predators with the goal of making the Internet a safer environment for children.
This investigation was conducted under HSI’s Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators. 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.