A man from California who was convicted of creating child sexual abuse material (CSAM) and distributing it via the internet will spend the rest of his life behind bars.
Fresno resident John Richard Brinson Jr pleaded guilty on July 23 2021 to engaging in a child exploitation enterprise and to four counts of producing CSAM in which four different minors were victimized.
In 2016 and 2017, 28-year-old Brinson viewed, advertised and distributed CSAM on several Tor-hosted websites, including Babyheart, dedicated to the sexual abuse of children ranging in age from newborn to five years old. Brinson also used the members-only website to encourage other members to upload additional CSAM.
Court documents describe how Brinson contacted co-defendants 27-year-old Arlan Wesley Harrell and Moises Martinez through the website and invited them into his home to create new CSAM. The men met at Brinson’s residence on multiple occasions to film their sexual abuse of minors, some of whom were brought there by Brinson, while others were taken there by Martinez and Harrell.
“In total, Brinson, Martinez and Harrell pleaded guilty to creating CSAM depicting themselves engaging in sexual acts with or otherwise sexually exploiting more than 20 children under the age of nine, including 10 children four years of age or younger,” said the Department of Justice’s Office of Public Affairs in a statement.
The abuse occurred in a house owned by Brinson’s co-defendant, 57-year-old Keith Lawniczak, who allowed Brinson to live at the address rent-free in return for the opportunity to watch minors being sexually abused.
Martinez pleaded guilty to engaging in a child exploitation enterprise and production of CSAM and was sentenced to 55 years in prison, followed by lifetime supervised release. Lawniczak pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of a child and was sentenced to 12 years in prison and lifetime supervised release.
Harrell pleaded guilty to engaging in a child exploitation enterprise, obtaining custody of a minor for purposes of producing CSAM, the production of CSAM and possession of CSAM. Harrell was sentenced to life in prison.
Brinson was handed a life sentence for his crimes on Friday.