MINNEAPOLIS—On December 16th in federal court in St. Paul, a 43-year-old St. Paul man was sentenced for photographing and filming pornographic images of three girls and one boy who were under the age of 10 at the time. United States District Court Judge Susan Richard Nelson sentenced Mark Allen Busse to 360 months in prison and 25 years of supervised release on one count of production of child pornography in connection to this crime. Busse was indicted on February 8, 2011, and pleaded guilty on July 29, 2011.
In his plea agreement, Busse admitted that on April 20, 2008, he photographed and filmed one girl while she was sleeping. In addition, Busse admitted that in 2006, he took photos of a second girl while she was sleeping. Busse also admitted that in 2008, he took photos and video of a third girl and a boy. In every incident, the images produced showed the children engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
This case was the result of an investigation by the St. Paul Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, both of which are affiliates of the Minnesota Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly M. Hare.
Presently, the Justice Department is funding a study concerning the correlation between involvement in child pornography and the hands-on sexual abuse of children. A 2008 study (The Butner Study) published in the Journal of Family Violence found that up to 80 percent of federal inmates incarcerated for possession, receipt, or distribution of child pornography also admitted to hands-on sexual abuse of children, ranging from touching to rape.
The U.S. Department of Justice is committed to combating the sexual exploitation of children, particularly via the Internet. In fiscal year 2010, 2,235 defendants pleaded guilty to federal child pornography charges, 2,222 of whom were sentenced to prison. In fiscal year 2009, 2,083 defendants were sentenced to prison on child pornography charges.