A Burbank man was sentenced Tuesday to 15 years in federal prison for producing child pornography.
Jesse Allen Shandy was 24, but pretended to be a child when he contacted an 8-year-old on social media, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Spokane.
He told investigators he would type female names into the search bar for the Kik social networking application to find girls and then start conversations with them, according to court documents.
He was caught when the mother of an 8-year-old in Michigan looked at her daughter’s cellphone and found explicit photos of her daughter.
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The girl claimed online she was 12, and Shandy pretended to be a 16 year old named Jessie, according to court documents.
He asked her several times to send him explicit photos, which she did, according to court documents. He had inappropriate conversations with her for four to six months and admitted that the pictures appeared to be of a child younger than 12, according to court documents.
Shandy also communicated with a second girl, who may have been 13 or 14, according to court documents.
Today’s sentence should serve as a warning to those who use social networking to send, receive or produce child pornography.
Joseph Harrington, Acting U.S. attorney for Eastern Washington.
After the mother of the Michigan girl contacted her local police department, Shandy continued to try to communicate on social media as “Jessie” with her daughter. The mother, with law enforcement permission, used her daughter’s account to reply and ask for a telephone number.
The number she received was used by officers in Michigan to identify a Burbank billing address, according to court documents.
Shandy was contacted in Burbank by officers with Homeland Security Investigations and the Southeast Regional Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
Senior Judge Edward Shea in Richland also sentenced Shandy to 22 years of probation after his release from prison. Shea recommended participation in the sex offender management program while Shandy is in prison. He also must register as a sex offender.
“Today’s sentence should serve as a warning to those who use social networking to send, receive or produce child pornography,” said Joseph Harrington, Acting U.S. Attorney for Eastern Washington.
The case was pursue as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative by the U.S. Department of Justice to combat child sexual exploitation and abuse. It combines federal, state and local resources to find and prosecute suspects.