DENVER – A man from western Colorado was sentenced Tuesday to serve nearly 20 years in federal prison for producing child pornography.
This sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney John Walsh, District of Colorado, and Kumar C. Kibble, special agent in charge of the Denver office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
After awarding the 235-month prison sentence, U.S. District Court Judge Robert B. Jackson also ordered Robert Arthur Brewster, 42, of Clifton, Colo., to spend the rest of his life on court supervision as a registered sex offender. Brewster was also ordered to pay $3,000 to one of the victims of his crime that submitted a request for restitution. Brewster appeared at the hearing in custody, and was remanded at its conclusion.
Brewster was indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver Feb. 26, 2013. He pleaded guilty before Judge Jackson July 10, and was sentenced Sept. 24.
According to court documents, including the stipulated facts contained in the plea agreement, on Jan. 7, 2010, an Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force officer with the Kenton County Police Department in Kenton, Ky., working in an undercover capacity as a 13-year-old girl, received an instant message from the online profile of Brewster. The chat was short, with both parties simply saying "hi."
On Jan. 9, 2010, Brewster identified himself as a 38-year old male living in Clifton, Colo. The undercover officer (UCO) responded by identifying himself as a 13-year old girl living in Kentucky. Brewster and the UCO had several message sessions where the conversation became more focused on pornography. Brewster asked the UCO if she shared porn on the Internet, and subsequently began forwarding the UCO pictures and video clips of prepubescent minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
During the chats, Brewster admitted that he took sexually explicit pictures of a minor child under the age of 12 with whom he had access. He provided those pictures to the UCO. The pictures, investigators determined, were of a minor child under 12-years old with whom Brewster had access. The pictures showed sexually explicit conduct, including one where Brewster was touching the child’s vaginal area.
Brewster and the UCO discussed via chat that the UCO wanted to get a webcam. Brewster asked if the UCO would share pictures with him. Brewster continued to share pictures with the UCO. He also pointed the UCO to various Internet locations where the UCO could view additional child pornography. Brewster also admitted that he had thousands of pictures and videos that he could share with the UCO.
On Jan. 16, 2010, Brewster told the UCO that he had purchased the webcam for her. He then showed the UCO his bedroom via his own webcam. During this session, the UCO saw Brewster’s tattoos, which were later used to help identify him as the person who produced child pornography with the minor victim. The UCO ultimately received the webcam Brewster sent.
A search warrant was then executed at Brewster’s residence in Clifton, Colo. Law enforcement seized computer media from Brewster’s residence, which yielded 870 images and 22 videos of child pornography. The media also contained 23 images of the minor Brewster had access to that he used to produce child pornography.
"This case shows why federal law provides for severe punishment of child pornography defendants: the defendant in this case produced child pornography by photographing his sexual abuse of a child, and then distributed the images over the Internet," said U.S. Attorney John Walsh. "This defendant will spend the rest of his life either in prison or being supervised by the court as the government does its best to stop him from hurting children ever again."
This case was investigated by HSI. Mesa County Sheriff’s Office assisted with the search warrant. The Colorado Springs ICAC officers and forensics also participated in this investigation.
Brewster was prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Shana Martin and Assistant U.S. Attorney Alecia Riewerts Wolak, District of Colorado.
The 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.