Auburn Man Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison for Producing Child Pornography

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Christopher Lee, 69, of Auburn, was sentenced today to 30 years in prison for production of child pornography, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

According to court documents, Lee repeatedly used a webcam to produce child pornography involving a seven-year-old child by sharing a live-streamed video with an individual who lived in England.

“Today’s sentence assures the public that this defendant will be kept away from children,” U.S. Attorney Talbert said. “This defendant encouraged others to participate in crimes that hurt children, who are the most vulnerable members of our communities. The U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to continuing its collaboration with our law enforcement partners to ensure that offenders like this defendant are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

“We appreciate the work in this joint investigation with the Placer County Sheriff’s Office with prosecution by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of California, that resulted in the rescue of a seven-year-old child,” said Tatum King, special agent in charge, HSI San Francisco. “Special thanks to Hertfordshire Constabulary (United Kingdom) for discovering the crime and HSI Attaché London for collaborating with HSI Sacramento to bring Mr. Lee to justice. This is another disturbing reminder of the dangers of the internet and the importance of working with our international partner law enforcement agencies via HSI’s extensive network of overseas attachés to respond quickly to crimes that exploit our most vulnerable victims.”

This case was the product of an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Placer County Sheriff’s Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Lee S. Bickley prosecuted the case.

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 U.S. 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 those who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. Click on the “resources” tab for information about internet safety education.