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Child Exploitation

Man charged with production of child pornography

PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania man was charged Wednesday with creating sexually explicit images of a minor and possessing child pornography. The investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Philadelphia Police Department Special Victims Unit and the Bristol Township Police Department.

Thomas Rafferty, 67, of Levittown, Pa., was arrested by HSI special agents Aug. 8 at his home.

If convicted of the charges, Rafferty faces up to 200 years in prison, a lifetime of supervised release and a $2.25 million fine.

This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders and child sex traffickers. HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423 or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.

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, 1-800-843-5678.

HSI is a founding member and current chair 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.

A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.