U.S. Law Enforcement Agencies Punish Child Pornography Offenders Involving 5-Year-Old

LOS ANGELES – U.S. Federal Court Tuesday sent a Southern California man to jail for producing child pornography, including sexually explicit pictures of a 5-year-old girl, U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday.

This is the latest effort by the U.S. federal law enforcement agencies to stop child exploitation.

Jeremy Matthew Meyerett, 41, was sentenced Tuesday by United States District Judge Virginia A. Phillips to spend the 240 months in prison. Following his release from custody, Meyerett will be on supervised release for 20 years.

Meyerett pleaded guilty in June to the production of child pornography in a case that arose from an undercover investigation by the Queensland (Australia) Police Service.

According to court documents, Meyerett discussed sexually molesting a 5-year-old girl, and a subsequent search of an online account by federal law enforcement yielded child pornography depicting the young victim.

“Child exploitation offenses such as those prosecuted in these cases are a scourge on our community,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker.

“My office will continue to protect vulnerable child victims of these heinous crimes by seeking lengthy sentences, such as the one imposed this week, for these criminals.”

This case against Meyerett was the result of a joint investigation by the Riverside Police Department and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Teresa Beecham, a Riverside County deputy district attorney who is also a member of the Riverside County District Attorney’s Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement (SAFE) team. The Riverside County District Attorney’s Office dismissed a related state case against Meyerett in favor of federal prosecution.

Meyerett is one of a half-dozen men from the Inland Empire who recently have been in federal court on charges related to child pornography. Three other defendants received sentences of at least 10 years in prison.

“The lengthy sentences given to these defendants are a gratifying outcome for the HSI special agents who work tirelessly to identify child sexual predators and bring them to justice,” said Joseph Macias, special agent in charge for HSI Los Angeles. 

“The sexual exploitation of children is a despicable crime and, as these sentences make clear, there are serious consequences for those convicted. HSI remains committed to working with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to aggressively pursue those who victimize the most vulnerable members of our society, our children.”

In the other Inland Empire child exploitation cases:

James Gregory O’Neill, 58, of Riverside, was sentenced on May 2 to 10 years in federal prison for his third conviction of possessing child pornography.

Andrew Harrison Fowler, 26, of Perris, a convicted sex offender who was convicted of having sex with minors in San Diego Superior Court, pleaded guilty on April 18 to possession of child pornography, with some of the images depicting victims younger than 10.

Anthony Michael Scotti, 22, of Murrieta, pleaded guilty on April 4 to possession of child pornography. •           Angelo Harper Jr., 21, of Moreno Valley, was found guilty after a two-day bench trial on charges of advertising, distributing and possessing child pornography. Trial evidence included an explicit six-minute video depicting a man with a pre-pubescent boy, as well as evidence showing that Harper used the Messenger to access a chatroom for those interested in nepiophilia, which is a sexual interest in infants and toddlers. Harper “possessed 8,260 images and 520 videos of child pornography,” according to court documents.

“This collection included violent depictions of the rape and assault of babies and toddlers.” Harper was sentenced in October by United States District Judge R. Gary Klausner to 235 months in federal prison. This case was investigated by HSI and the Riverside Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement Task Force.

Nathan Charles Longino Barba, 21, of Rancho Cucamonga, pleaded guilty in August to possessing child pornography.

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