07/14/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 07/14/2021 07:59
Jacksonville, Florida - United States District Judge Marcia Morales Howard has sentenced Colum Patrick Moran, Jr. (43, Jacksonville) to 64 years in federal prison for attempting to entice minors to produce images and videos depicting child sexual abuse and for possessing materials depicting the sexual exploitation of children on his electronic devices. Moran was also ordered to serve a lifetime term of supervised release and to register as a sex offender.
A federal jury had found Moran guilty on March 10, 2021.
According to court documents, as well as evidence and testimony during the three-day trial, between 2015 and late 2018, Moran, using the name 'Emily lover,' posted comments to numerous internet motherhood blog websites. These websites are designed and intended to offer and share helpful information about motherhood, childcare, useful commercial products, and other topics related to family life. During this period, Moran repeatedly posted sexually explicit comments that targeted mothers and their young children by name on these blogs. Further, Moran intentionally posted graphic comments on these blogs requesting that the mothers produce and post images and videos of their children engaging in sexually explicit conduct.
On March 6, 2019, FBI agents and other law enforcement officers executed a federal search warrant at Moran's apartment in Jacksonville. During this search, law enforcement seized several smart phones and computers containing more than 1,000 images and videos depicting very young children, including infants and toddlers, being sexually abused. One of the smart phones had been used by Moran to access numerous motherhood blog websites and contained images of sexually explicit postings made by Moran with the usernames 'Emily lover' and 'Anonymous.' Agents also seized a plastic storage bin that contained a collection of children's underwear, as well as several firearms, ammunition, and a bulletproof vest with Velcro law enforcement identification patches.
'This case demonstrates the lengths that predators will go to target innocent children online, and reveals the havoc placed on their families,' said Rachel L. Rojas, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Jacksonville Division. 'While the FBI, in general, does not comment on specific websites or apps, we want parents to be aware of the risks and vulnerabilities posed by websites and apps that offer interactive communication capabilities to include video live-streaming and image sharing functionalities. While some predators target children directly for this content, this subject went a step further and also targeted parents, leaving many of them absolutely terrified. The FBI encourages online users to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity to law enforcement.'
This case was the result of a nationwide investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Jacksonville and Los Angeles, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, with assistance from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Alexandria, Virginia. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney D. Rodney Brown.
This is another case 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 individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.