A former co-founder of HammelFit, a Massachusetts fitness and education program designed for children under the age of seven, was sentenced on August 29, 2011 to 151 months in prison in a child pornography case investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Brad Warner, 33, of Acton, Mass., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Patti B. Saris who also ordered that the sentence be followed by a lifetime of supervised release for receipt and possession of child pornography.
“This case is yet another example of the vulnerability of our children and the traumatic emotional scars that mark them and their families for life,” said Bruce M. Foucart, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Boston. “It is also a clear example of the price these criminals face once they are convicted.”
“Today, justice has been served, and Mr. Warner has been held accountable for his actions,” said U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz, District of Massachusetts. “Those who exploit children, as Mr. Warner has been convicted of doing, should heed this warning. We will continue to investigate and prosecute aggressively crimes perpetrated against children.”
According to prosecutors, if the case had proceeded to trial, evidence would have proven that Robert John Mueller of Sterling Heights, Mich., received e-mails from Warner describing their shared sexual interests in young girls and their sexual desires for young girls approximately three to 10 years of age. Warner allegedly indicated to Mueller that he had a particular sexual interest in a girl approximately seven years of age.
Prosecutors also claim Mueller communicated in more than 100 emails with John J. Belloli, Jr., of Dearborn Heights, Mich., and had multiple conversations describing sexual attraction to minor females as young as three years of age.
On March 14, 2009, Belloli emailed a video file to Warner that depicted a prepubescent female and an adult male engaged in sexual acts. On two other occasions, Warner sent Belloli multiple cell phone videos of prepubescent females, including one depicting a female getting changed.
ICE HSI was assisted in the investigation by Massachusetts State Police along with investigators from local police departments. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nadine Pellegrini and Michael Yoon.
This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders, and child sex traffickers.
ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE. This hotline is staffed around the clock by investigators. Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Centerfor Missing and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.