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Iowa man charged with child pornography offenses


This news story was published on October 21, 2011.
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CEDAR RAPIDS – James Byers, age 56, from Belle Plaine, Iowa, has been charged with three child pornography offenses. T­he charges are contained in an indictment unsealed October 11, 2011, in United States District Court in Cedar Rapids. ­ The indictment alleges that, between May 2007 and February 2009, Byers knowingly distributed child pornography, received child pornography, and possessed a computer containing child pornography.

If convicted, Byers faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years’ imprisonment and a possible maximum sentence of 50 years’ imprisonment, $750,000 in fines, $300 in special assessments, and at least five years and up to life on supervised release following any imprisonment.­

Byers appeared on October 13, 2011, for a detention hearing in federal court in Cedar Rapids and was held without bond. Byers’ next appearance for trial is set for December 12, 2011.

As with any criminal case, a charge is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mark Tremmel and was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Belle Plaine Police Department.

This case was 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 United States 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 via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

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