Orlando, Florida – United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces the arrest of Brett Avery Tipton (40, Rockledge) on a criminal complaint charging him with enticing a minor to produce child sexual abuse material. If convicted, Tipton faces a minimum mandatory penalty of 10 years, and up to life, in federal prison. Tipton made his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Embry J. Kidd yesterday and was ordered detained pending trial.
According to the complaint, in 2020, Tipton began communicating with the child victim (who was then approximately 12 years old) through various social media platforms, including Snapchat, Telegram, PlayStation, and Facebook. At Tipton’s request and urging, the victim sent him numerous pictures of the victim engaging in sexually explicit conduct. In return, Tipton sent the victim gifts from Amazon, games, gaming equipment (such as headphones), and food through an online delivery service. The investigation revealed that Tipton engaged in this conduct with the victim for more than one year.
According to the complaint, the investigation also revealed that Tipton distributed child sex abuse material to online groups that trade such contraband. During an interview with the FBI, Tipton stated that he used his online accounts to interact with and solicit sexually explicit material from young teenage boys and men who ranged in age from 12 to 26 years old.
A complaint is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
This case was investigated by Federal Bureau of Investigation (Orlando and Cincinnati), with assistance from the Licking County (Ohio) Sheriff’s Office, the Rockledge Police Department, and the United States Secret Service (Cincinnati). It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Emily C. L. Chang.
This is another case 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’ Office 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.justice.gov/psc.