CEDAR RAPIDS – A man who sexually exploited four children and possessed child pornography was convicted by a jury on Tuesday, September 17, 2013, after a two-day trial in federal court in Cedar Rapids.
Benton Stong, age 76, from Oran, Iowa, was convicted of one count of sexual exploitation of children and four counts of possession of child pornography. The verdict was returned following about one hour of jury deliberations.
The evidence at trial showed that, in 2012, Stong used, persuaded, induced, and enticed four children to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing visual depictions of this conduct. The evidence also showed that, between 2009 and 2012, Stong possessed child pornography at his residence in Oran.
Sentencing before United States District Court Chief Judge Linda R. Reade will be set after a presentence report is prepared. Stong remains in custody of the United States Marshal pending sentencing. Stong faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment and a possible maximum sentence of 110 years’ imprisonment, $1,250,000 in fines, $500 in special assessments, and at least five years and up to life on supervised release following any imprisonment. He also will be required to register as a sex offender.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mark Tremmel and was investigated by the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office and the Iowa Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
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 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.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”
Court file information is available at https://ecf.iand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl. The case file number is CR 13-2014.