When Senator Lamar Alexander’s (R TN) Chief of Staff, Ryan Loskarn, was arrested, last year, for trading in the rape and torture of children, aka child pornography, not one journalist provided context to the story. The media reported Loskarn’s arrest, and subsequent suicide pending trial, as if it were a one-off event. As if, no other high-level government employees were being arrested on child porn charges.
So, I suppose I should be thrilled to see that both Paul Farrell, the Breaking News Editor for Heavy, and Shane Harris, Sr. Intelligence and National Security Correspondent for The Daily Beast and New America Foundation Fellow, have, at least, tried to provide context to the State Department’s Director of Counterterrorism, Daniel Rosen’s arrest this week for attempting to solicit sex from children.
Farrell reported Rosen’s arrest was “the Second Child Sex Scandal to Hit D.C. in 12 Months.” Harris reported Rosen’s arrest marks the “3rd U.S. Official Hit With Child Sex and Porn Charges.” At least Paul and Shane poked their heads up and said something like: Hang on. Seems to me I’ve heard this story before. Haven’t there been other recent arrests of high level government officials on child sex abuse charges?
Nonetheless, both are very far off the mark. A simple Google or Twitter search would have revealed way more than two or three government officials arrested on similar charges in the past few months alone.
As I have been documenting, for years now, by all accounts there is both a national child porn crisis and, within that, a crisis of American federal and state employees engaged in child porn. In what appears to be epidemic numbers men are down-loading child porn often on their work computers at The Pentagon, The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), The Department of Justice (DOJ), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), The Department of Transportation (DOT), The Transportation Security Agency (TSA), The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) not to mention state-level police departments from Maine to California.
Maine’s Governor, Paul LePage, has recognized this crisis by issuing the first, to my knowledge, of its kind Executive Order, on 20 February 2015, prohibiting Maine state employees from accessing pornographic or sexually explicit material on both state computers or devices even when they were off-duty on personal time.
North Carolina’s Congressman, Mark Meadows (R) also recognizes the scope of the crisis and put forward the Eliminating Pornography from Agencies Act. This law, if passed, would stop federal employees from accessing, watching or sharing pornography on government-issued computers and devices. Congressman Meadows introduced this 18 September 2014. To date, he has not one co-sponsor. Not one other member of Congress cares about this issue? Apparently not.
Other Recent Arrests of Government Employees
Because the Department of Justice is not collecting data on child porn arrests, no one knows how many government employees have been arrested on child porn related charged, much less how many are engaged in the child porn industry who have yet to be caught.
The arrests listed here are, therefore, an incomplete data-set, gathered from the most rudimentary search method: simple Google and Twitter searches. On my other Medium postings I have listed recent arrests of police and military: Police Arrested for Trading in Child Rape & Torture and Military Staff Trading in Child Rape & Torture
From the record of these arrests alone, we can speculate, child porn within our government agencies has reached a crisis level.
A few highlights:
• Former Acting Director of Cyber Security at the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Timothy DeFoggi was recently sentenced to 25 years in federal prison. He was into the rape and murder of small children aka child porn snuff.
• Former Undersecretary of the Navy, 70 year old James Daniel Howard, arrested on child porn possession and reproduction charges in 2013. Howard had served as special assistant to President Ronald Reagan. He plead guilty to ten child porn counts and served only seven months in jail.
• Joint Strike Fighter Program Navy officer, Bruce Babchyck, arrested in 2014 for downloading “hundreds of gigabytes” of young girls and bestiality on government computers. He received a one year sentence.
• Army prosecutor and judge advocate, Daniel Wollverton, father of two, convicted in 2011 for infant sodomy and possession of over 30,000 images and 1,000 videos of brutal child sex abuse including that of a three month old infant.
• Army Colonel, 55 year old Robert Joel Rice, a war game developer at Army War College, was charged with 130 child porn counts. He had more than 30,000 images/videos of child sex abuse when his wife discovered the files and notified local police. The Army War College had continued to employ Rice, and allow him supervised access to Army computers, while on bail pending trial. Col. Rice had been scheduled for a July 2013 arraignment; however, journalist Steve Marroni informed me, on 10 March 2014, that Rice “had a pre-trial conference scheduled for last week, but that was continued until next month pending some defense motions, so the case is still pending.” Andrew Carr, a reporter with The Sentinel, confirmed, on 4 November 2014. Rice’s federal hearing was delayed until February 2015. Rice’s preliminary county hearing had been set for April 2013.
• David O’Brien, America’s chief scientist responsible for monitoring global nuclear activity at Patrick Air Force Base’s Technical Applications Center, which operates our Atomic Energy Detection System, was arrested May 2013 and charged with ten counts of child porn possession and distribution.
O’Brien had a large child porn collection on his home and Air Force computers. On 17 October 2014 he was sentenced to five years in federal prison in exchange for a guilty plea to one child porn count. O’Brien had download videos of the sex abuse of children as young as three years old. He had taken pictures of his granddaughter and placed images of her head over images of children being sexually abused. He also had pictures of Air Force employees transposed over sex abuse images.
• 31 year old Eric Higgins, a Homeland Security Customs and Border Protection agent in Michigan, plead guilty to child porn possession. Over forty images of a child previously identified by law enforcement were found on his laptop.
• Nicholas Bolden, a 40 year old Homeland Security Customs and Border Patrol agent, was sentenced for child porn possession on his government computer. Bolden had accessed a Russian child porn website while at work from his work computer. A child porn CD was also found at his workplace desk.
• Gilbert Lam, a 38 year old Homeland Security Customs and Border Protection agent who worked at San Francisco airport, was charged with child porn possession and distribution. Investigators said his electronic resources were “elaborate” and included “a whole closet… independent server, several computers, several hard drives…”
• Robert Rennie, a 43 year old Homeland Security agent who worked in the National Protection and Programs Directorate, was charged with attempting to solicit sexual acts from more than seventy young girls using a fake Facebook account and pretending to be both a male student at a Virginia middle schools as well as a college student at George Mason University.
• An unnamed Homeland Security agent with Customs and Border Protection and Byungki Koo an Air Marshal were arrested for trafficking “young women” from South Korea in a sex-trafficking ring in Queens, New York.
Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)
• 48 year old Scott Whitcomb, a former police officer, at the time of his arrest a Drug Enforcement Agent, was sentenced for child porn production. He had been producing and distributing sex abuse of boys under sixteen years old since 2007. Whitcomb lured boys to his house with video games and porn magazines and would turn violent if the boys didn’t submit to the sex abuse. He had been an Air Marshal and a prison guard.
• DEA agent Darren Argento was arrested for possession and distribution of child sex abuse of girls between seven and fourteen years old his work laptop.
Forest and Park Rangers
• Bobby Kelly, a 31 year old US Forest Ranger was sentenced to five years for more than two dozen child porn related charges.
• Derek Alan Lee, a 44 year old US Forest Service employee, was sentenced for child porn. Lee was sentenced with his 21 year old step-son Jeffrey McMillan. Their computers were found sending “several hundred files” of child sex abuse on the internet. Lee said he had been downloading child porn for ten years. At the time of his arrest his computer had 111 videos and 116 images of child sex abuse. He also had a collection of “incest stories.”
• Michael McGowan, a 41 year old Air Marshal, was convicted for molesting three young boys, age eleven to thirteen, and child porn possession. He had 1,300 videos and images, along with fake FBI and CIA badges.
• Richard Castillo, a Houston Air Marshal, was indicted for indecency with a child after his daughter’s fourteen year old friend said he sexually assaulted her during a sleepover.
• Air Marshal Byungki Koo, who was mentioned under the Homeland Security section, received four years probation for participating in the sex trafficking of young women from Korea in Queens.
Transportation Security Agency (TSA)
• 59 year old Boston TSA agent Jose Salgado, charged with possession and distribution of child porn. As of this arrest April 2012, it was reported that a total of twelve child sex crimes in the previous sixteen months had been brought against TSA agents across America.
• Michael Wilson, 41 year old Baltimore TSA agent was indicated for child porn possession including videos “depicting a prepubescent female engaged in masturbation and anal sex with an adult male.”
• Andrew Smeal, 39 year old Florida TSA agent, was charged with twenty-five counts of child porn possession. An investigator said “…the living room was loaded with electronics, storage devices, hard drives.” I couldn’t locate information on how much child porn he had or what it was depicting; however, given he was charged with twenty-five counts, one can assume he had a large amount of child sex abuse videos and images.
• Thomas Gordon, a 46 year old TSA agent in Philadelphia, was sentenced for possession and distribution of child porn. He had over 600 images and videos of child sex abuse including children as young as six years old which were described as “horrific.” He had as many as six fake Facebook accounts he was using to distribute child porn.
• TSA hired 65 year old Thomas Harkin, a former Catholic priest who had been removed from the church for the sex abuse of an eleven year old girl, among possible other victims, to work at Philadelphia airport.
• TSA Agent, 38 year old Miguel Angel Quinones, who worked at Manchester airport in New Hampshire, was indicted on twenty counts of child porn possession. He had more than 1,000 child sex abuse images and videos. He kept his child porn in his airport work locker.
Corrections and Probation Officers
• Former West Virginia Corrections Center Officer, 35 year old Joseph Roush, plead guilty to child porn possession and distribution. He had more than 500 image of child sex abuse.
• Leon Perry Brookes, a 39 year old a Corrections Officer for Jacksonville (Florida) Sheriff’s Office was arrested for child porn possession and distribution. Among others, he had child sex abuse files called “pthc- freaky latin parents and 5yr daughter.mpg” and “video-8yr orgasm and anal fuck hard ! new ! (ptch) 2007 new girl img.
• Gerald Silva, a 59 year old Rhode Island State Probation Officer, was convicted of child porn for his $1,589 USD purchase of 22 orders of child sex abuse from Azov Film’s website, spending a total of $1,589 on 75 different videos. He was caught by USPS Inspectors and Toronto Police investigation, Project Spade.
• Stuart Forrest, 62 year old Chief Probation Officer of San Mateo County, California, was sentenced for child porn possession that included the abuse of young bound boys. He had more than 400 images and videos of child sex abuse. This case was also part of Project Spade, run by the USPS and Toronto Police.
• Supervisor of Adult Probation and Parole and Sex Offender Unit in New Mexico, Larry Franco, 56 years old, was charged two counts of fourth-degree felony sexual exploitation of a minor by possession and one count of tampering with evidence. He had originally been charged with 26 new child porn counts. He was producing child porn.
• James Leone, a 50 year old Senior Parole Official in New York who supervised officers who monitored paroled sex offenders, was arrested for child porn possession. He had been downloading child sex abuse images in online searches for “preteen hard-core” including ten or twelve year old girls being sexually abused by their parents and a brother. Leone was a Child Abuse Investigator with New York City Child Welfare Bureau before he became a parole officer.
• Barry Porter Griffith, a 45 year old Parole Officer from Flint Texas, was sentenced for child porn possession after investigators noticed “significant Internet bandwidth being used by a state-owned computer to view pornography” including child sex abuse from his office computer.
• James Kriegner, a 43 year old Corrections Officer with Mercer County, New Jersey, charged with downloading more than 100 child sex abuse images.
Media Coverage of Ryan Loskarn’s Arrest
The media coverage of late Senate staffer Ryan Loskarn’s arrest for graphic and violent child porn, including the rape of a six year old girl in the woods by her father, ignored, entirely, the children in the videos. These are real children suffering real harm. Will the six year old girl raped in the woods by her father be rescued? No one asked. No one wanted to know.
John Harwood, for example, a DC reporter for CNBC and The New York Times, tweeted “Feeling so sad about Ryan Loskarn. Knew him a bit as a reporter and liked him. RIP.” I asked Harwood about the children in Loskarn’s child porn collection. Harwood’s response was “as father of daughters I’m horrified by that violent abuse. But I knew Ryan Loskarn & yes, I am sad for him & his family.”
I responded, “I appreciate that. As the father of daughters will you focus media attention on finding the 6 yr girl in Loskarn’s video? That’s all I am asking. It’s a simple & I think appropriate request. Given #Loskarn’s final words were to the children. No?”
Harwood never replied.
Child Porn as a National Security Threat
America has a child porn crisis. The disturbing number of federal and state employees arrested for child porn charges makes this a national security issue. Over the past two years, I’ve been documenting the scope of America’s child porn industry and the apparent level of involvement by America’s national security and federal employees. Forbes, The Washington Times and others have published my research. Fox News and Canadian TV (CTV) invited me for interviews. My CTV interview went mini-viral as did my Forbes article. I was the first to ask, in 2012, if White House staff might have been involved in the Colombia Secret Service scandal.
I am now researching and writing a book: Child Porn Nation: America’s Hidden Security Threat. My starting premise is men, and increasingly women, are raping children, very young children, including infants and toddlers, and sharing videos, images, and live-streaming of this abuse at epidemic levels. These criminals are, by and large, are getting away with it because America refuses to move beyond our denial.
We are sustaining crisis-level numbers of seemingly normal, often powerful and successful men, and some women, involved in America’s child sex abuse industry; far too many of whom are federal or state employees.
It does not matter if the perpetrator is on the demand-side, with incessant appetites for graphic child abuse to achieve sexual gratification, or the supply-side of abusing children, often their own or children of friends and relatives, and selling this abuse on-line. Both supply and demand, which often cross over, have reached epidemic proportions and no one is talking about it.
My research is intended to be a wake-up call. The problem of child sex abuse and its cover-up is real. A generation of American children are being destroyed. If you think this only happens to other children, and your children are safe, you are sadly mistaken. Your children might be enduring sexual abuse right now while you remain dangerously ignorant. Ryan Loskarn’s parents never knew, until they read his suicide note, that he had suffered sex abuse as a child.
America’s appetite for child porn puts all our children at risk. Your children and mine. Whether you acknowledge it or not.
Dr. Paul Farmer, a humanitarian and personal hero, has said we must find the words to talk about the most painful subjects if we hope to have any positive impact on this world of ours. This is my attempt to find those words and open a subject no one wants to discuss.
That is, that while no one was watching, America has become a child porn nation and that puts us all at risk.
Dr. Lori Handrahan’s forthcoming book Child Porn Nation: America’s Hidden National Security Risk details America’s child sex abuse epidemic. Her Ph.D. is from The London School of Economics. She can be reached on Twitter @LoriHandrahan2