Unlike most crimes, sexual abuse of children has no statute of limitations. Many children who suffer sexual abuse are afraid to tell anyone what happened until after victims reach adulthood; if they were very young when the abuse happened, then they might not even know until years after the abuse occurred that what the abuser did to them was against the law. Adult survivors of sexual abuse have the right to testify in cases related to abuse that occurred decades earlier.
In the case of crimes involving producing and transmitting images or videos depicting exploitation of minors, the court might order people who purchased copies of the content many years after it was produced to pay restitution to the people whose abuse is depicted in the images, pursuant to the federal Amy, Vicky, and Andy Child Pornography Victim Assistance Act of 2018. Meanwhile, the people who record or distribute the images can face long prison sentences. To find out more, contact a Los Angeles child pornography lawyer.
Defendant Confesses to Soliciting 35 Preteens Online
In September 2021, Billy Edward Frederick of Redondo Beach pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography and enticement of a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity, according to a press release by the Department of Justice. He was arrested following an investigation that discovered 5,000 images and videos in his Google account of minors engaged in sexual acts.
The victims appeared to be between the ages of 11 and 14. Frederick confessed that he would record the victims during Google Hangouts conversations. At least one victim, a boy who lived in the Philippines, received money from Frederick in exchange for his participation in the Google Hangout, as revealed in chat messages between Frederick and the victim. In the plea agreement, Frederick admitted that he had done this with at least 35 victims.
The Department of Justice statement does not give any details about how authorities first became aware of Frederick’s illegal activities except to say that Homeland Security Investigations played a role in investigating this matter. Many investigations involving the distribution of exploitative images have begun when a content moderator notifies law enforcement that a user has uploaded or transmitted an illegal image or video. This may not have been the case in the investigation against Frederick, though, since it does not appear that he distributed any of the illegal content to third parties.
Frederick, 51, will receive a sentence on March 14, 2022. The crimes to which he has pleaded guilty carry a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Contact the Manshoory Law Group About Sex Crimes Defense
A Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer can help you if you are being accused of possessing, producing, or purchasing illegal images depicting the exploitation of minors. Your initial consultation is always free, so contact us at the Manshoory Law Group in Los Angeles, California, or call (877)977-7750 to discuss your case.