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Cobb Man Indicted for Extorting Minors to Produce Child Porn

According to a United States attorney’s office, Tremain Hutchinson allegedly enticed teenagers to share nude photographs and then threatened to post them online.

A Cobb County man has been indicted for using social media to lure and then force teenagers into sending him nude pictures.

Tremain Hutchinson, 27, of Mableton, was indicted by a federal grand jury on Dec. 18, 2012, on charges that he induced and coerced minors into producing child pornography, enticed and coerced minors into engaging in sexual activity, received and possessed child pornography, and transferred obscene material to minors. Hutchinson was arraigned in federal court Wednesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge E. Clayton Scofield III and was detained without bond.

“Hutchinson is charged with exploiting social media to victimize children,” United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said in a news release Wednesday. “His conduct is particularly disturbing because he threatened and coerced these terrified children into engaging in sexual acts.”

“This defendant stands accused of committing unspeakable acts against his juvenile victims through the use of threats and extortion,” said Brock D. Nicholson, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations in Atlanta. “The abhorrent behavior displayed in this case was brought to an end by a diligent investigation by HSI and the DeKalb Police Department. Along with our partners in and out of law enforcement, we are doing everything we can to stop the victimization of innocent children by predators.”

According to Yates, the charges and other information presented in court, in February 2012, a parent reported to authorities that she had discovered on a communications device images of her children engaging in sexual activity. Investigators learned that one of the children had met an individual, “Mario,” on a social media website who had enticed her to send nude photographs of herself to him, and upon receiving the nude photographs had threatened to post the photographs on the internet if she did not engage in other sexual activity on webcam including sexual activity with her sibling.

Over the course of their investigation, investigators determined that “Mario,” whose web profile described him as a 16-year-old boy, had enticed and threatened numerous other teenage girls to send nude photographs of themselves to him, whereupon he would threaten to post the photographs on Facebook and other social media sites, including their school websites, if the girls did not continue to send sexually graphic photographs and video recordings to him. “Mario” also threatened to harm the girls’ families.

The investigation ultimately revealed that “Mario” was not a 16-year-old boy, but 27-year-old Tremain Hutchinson.

Hutchinson is charged with 10 counts of employing, using, persuading, inducing, enticing and coercing minors to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing child pornography and attempting to do so, five counts of coercing and enticing minors to engage in sexual activity, two counts of transferring obscene materials to minors, one count of receiving child pornography and one count of possessing child pornography.

The counts related to causing minors to produce child pornography each carries a mandatory minimum confinement period of 15 years in prison and a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison. Each charge of coercing and enticing minors to engage in sexual activity carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years confinement and a maximum sentence of life in prison. The charges of transferring obscene materials to a minor carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. The charge of receiving child pornography carries a maximum sentence of 20 years confinement and the charge of possessing child pornography carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. Each charge carries a fine of up to $250,000.

In determining the actual sentence, the Court will consider the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which are not binding but provide appropriate sentencing ranges for most offenders.

Members of the public are reminded that the indictment only contains charges. The defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government's burden to prove the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

The case is being brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. In February 2006, the Attorney General launched Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorney's Offices around the country, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

The case is being investigated by Special Agents of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Yonette Buchanan and Leslie J. Abrams are prosecuting the case.

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