United States District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill sentenced two defendants in two separate cases today for child pornography offenses, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
“The sexual exploitation of children is a despicable crime and, as these sentences make clear, there will be serious consequences for those convicted of such offenses,” said Mike Prado, acting resident agent in charge for HSI Fresno. “Homeland Security Investigations will continue working with its federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to aggressively pursue those who victimize the most vulnerable members of our society, our children.”
Fresno resident Imad Ibrahim Abousalem, 54, was sentenced to 10 years in prison to be followed by 15 years of supervised release, for possessing child pornography. Abousalem pleaded guilty to the charge on July 23, 2012. He has been in custody since his initial arrest on April 12, 2012. According to court documents, Abousalem was found to have possessed on his cellphone 54 sexually explicit images of prepubescent children obtained from a website. The images involved the portrayal of sadistic, masochistic, and other depictions of violence. Abousalem’s sentence was enhanced because of a 2002 child sex-exploitation conviction.
Clovis resident Stanley Neil Martin, 53, was sentenced to six and a half years in prison, to be followed by 15 years of supervised release, for receiving child pornography. Martin pleaded guilty on July 9, 2012. He was taken into custody at the conclusion of the sentencing hearing. According to court documents, Martin received on his computer via the Internet 280 separate videos and an additional 478 still images depicting minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct. The images and videos also involved the portrayal of sadistic, masochistic, and other depictions of violence, and many of the minors depicted were prepubescent.
Both cases were the product of investigations by the Central California Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force that includes the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation assisted with the prosecution of Abousalem. Assistant United States Attorney Brian W. Enos prosecuted the cases.
The cases were brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute those who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. Click on the “resources” tab for information about Internet safety education.