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Man Sentenced to 40 Years in Federal Prison for Distribution of Child Pornography

DENVER—Jon Christopher Baker, age 33, of Denver, Colorado, was sentenced late yesterday by U.S. District Court Judge John L. Kane to serve 480 months (40 years) in federal prison for the distribution of child pornography, U.S. Attorney John Walsh and FBI Denver Division Special Agent in Charge Thomas Ravenelle announced. This was the maximum possible sentence Baker faced. Following his prison sentence, Baker was sentenced to a lifetime of supervised release. Baker appeared at the sentencing hearing in custody and was remanded at the conclusion of the hearing.

Baker was first charged by criminal complaint on April 27, 2012. He was indicted by a federal grand jury on May 21, 2012. He pled guilty on March 8, 2013. Baker was sentenced on July 2, 2013.

According to court documents, on February 21, 2012, an FBI special agent working on an Innocent Images Operations Unit in Maryland in an undercover capacity came across a person using a peer-to-peer file sharing program. The person was sharing two folders containing approximately 23,865 files, or about 99.7 gigabytes. The undercover special agent downloaded approximately 14 image files directly from the person, in addition to approximately 1,016 thumbnail images, the majority of which were indicative of child pornography and erotica. The FBI launched an investigation and determined the person sharing the files had an IP address in Denver and was named Jon C. Baker. A search of the Colorado Sex Offender Registry revealed one positive result for a Jon C. Baker, also with an address in Denver. The Maryland FBI agent then sent all reports and images to the FBI in Denver for further investigation.

The Denver FBI special agent, working in an undercover capacity, communicated with Baker via the chat feature of the peer-to-peer program. The chat resulted in the undercover agent downloading images containing child pornography from Baker. On April 27, 2012, a search warrant was executed at Baker’s apartment. Agents found a computer and a separate hard drive. A folder on the hard drive associated with the file sharing program Baker was using contained approximately 30,000 images and 1,400 videos of child pornography. Baker was then taken into custody.

Testimony at the sentencing hearing demonstrated that the defendant also solicited at least 25 minor boys online by posing as a minor girl. While posing as a minor girl, the defendant used a chat/webcam site to request that minor boys show their genitalia and/or masturbate on camera. The defendant then recorded the minor boys complying with his requests and sent those videos to other collectors of child pornography.

The defendant had a prior conviction for attempted sexual exploitation of a child under Colorado state law, which resulted in an increase in his sentence. The 1998 conviction came out of Colorado Springs, Colorado. Baker’s prior crime occurred when he worked as a babysitter.

“Baker helped countless other people view and download child pornography,” First Assistant U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer said. “He sexually exploited children for his own and others’ gratification. Given his prior conviction for similar conduct, Baker will be in federal prison until he’s in his 70’s, and he deserves every minute of it.”

“The sentence handed down represents the FBI’s dedication to pursing those that exploit children,” said FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge Thomas Ravenelle. “Our Innocent Images Task Force is committed to protecting children by identifying and prosecuting sexual predators that victimize them.”

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Innocent Images Task Force.

Baker was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Judith Smith, Chief of the Special Prosecutions Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Alecia Riewerts Wolak, the Project Safe Childhood Coordinator for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice.

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