BOISE, IDAHO – Wesley James Hurley, 41, of Boise, Idaho, was sentenced yesterday to 84 months in federal prison followed by 20 years of supervised release for possessing sexual explicit images of children on his home computer, announced U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson. Hurley will also be required to perform 100 hours of community service. He pleaded guilty to the charge on February 15. As part of his plea, Hurley agreed to forfeit computer equipment detailed in the plea agreement.
U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge received 10 victim impact statements submitted by some of the children who were forced to take part in the videos that Hurley downloaded/received. “This sentence sends a message that these crimes will not be tolerated, that the children depicted are victims and every time [the images] are viewed the child is victimized again,” said Judge Lodge. “These kids live in fear for the rest of their lives that they might be recognized. For these victims, it’s a life sentence.” The judge also reinforced the need for harsh punishment as a deterrence to other offenders.
According to the plea agreement, in June 2010, Idaho Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators executed a search warrant at Hurley’s home and seized computer equipment. An FBI computer forensic examiner found that Hurley had peer-to-peer file sharing programs installed on his computer, which had been used to download and share child pornography. Between July 2009 and June 2010, the computer equipment was used to download more than 100 child pornography files on a file sharing network. When interviewed by an ICAC task force detective, Hurley admitted that he had “regularly” viewed child pornography files for the past 15 years.
“In Idaho, federal, state, and local law enforcement officers work together to ensure that criminals who target and exploit children will be prosecuted, convicted and sentenced to long prison terms,” said Olson. “We will use all available resources to remove these offenders from our communities and protect our children.”
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) compared some of the seized videos with the Child Recognition Identification System. NCMEC identified videos containing minor victims that had been produced in Texas, Georgia, Washington state, Indiana, Michigan, Ukraine, Spain, England, and other locations.
The case was investigated by the Idaho Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, the Boise Police Department, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.