Crime

Nov 20, 2012 7:52 PM by JD Downing

Child Porn Arrest

DENVER - Gregory Lynn Hopson, age 42, of Westminster, Colorado, was ordered detained without bond today by U.S. Magistrate Judge Kristen L. Mix after earlier being indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of production, transportation, receipt and possession of child pornography, Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division Lanny A. Breuer, United States Attorney John Walsh and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agent in Charge Kumar Kibble announced. Hopson was charged in a 16-count indictment on October 24, 2012. On November 15, 2012, Hopson was brought to federal court for his initial appearance from the Colorado Department of Corrections, where he was serving a sentence for violating the terms of his probation imposed as a result of a 2000 Boulder County conviction for Sexual Assault on a Child by a Person in a Position of Trust.

The indictment alleges that Hopson enticed and coerced a person under the age of eighteen to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing visual depictions of that conduct. The indictment also alleges that Hopson knowingly transported and shipped child pornography using a means and facility of interstate and foreign commerce. The defendant also allegedly knowingly received child pornography that has been shipped and transported in and affecting interstate and foreign commerce. In addition, the indictment alleges that Hopson knowingly possessed a computer disk and other material that contained an image of child pornography.

The indictment contains a special allegation, which describes Hopson's Boulder County conviction and states that the victim in that prior case was less than 12 years old, while the victim in the counts in this case charging Hopson with production of child pornography was less than 17 years old. If proven, this special allegation serves as a sentencing enhancer for the counts in the indictment, subjecting Hopson to stiffer penalties.

Finally, the indictment contains a forfeiture allegation, which states that upon conviction Hopson must forfeit any and all of his rights, title, and interest in the child pornography images, the computer and other media containing child pornography, and any other real or personal property used or intended to be used to commit or promote the commission of the offenses alleged in the indictment.

"Mr. Hopson allegedly took advantage of a minor for the purpose of producing child pornography," said Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer. "As charged, this conduct represents the very worst in our society. We are determined to continue holding child predators accountable for their crimes."

"Prosecuting those who sexually exploit children in order to produce child pornography is critical not just to put the predator in prison, it is also vital to protect the children who are victims of the production," said U.S. Attorney John Walsh. "Cases such as this should also serve as a deterrent to others contemplating similar conduct that there are severe consequences - life in prison without the possibility of parole."

"Our Operation Predator program in Homeland Security Investigations was specifically established to identify and prosecute individuals like Gregory Hopson, who is accused of particularly heinous allegations of being a repeat sexual predator," said Kumar C. Kibble, special agent in charge of HSI Denver. "Removing these predators from civilized society makes our communities safer, and give some degree of justice to their victims." Kibble oversees a four-state area, including Colorado, Montana, Utah and Wyoming.

If convicted of any of the eight counts of production of child pornography, Hopson faces not less than life in federal prison, as well as a fine of up to $250,000, per count. If convicted of any of the two counts of transportation of child pornography or the four counts of receipt of child pornography, Hopson faces not less than 15 years and not more than 40 years imprisonment, as well as a fine of up to $250,000, per count. If convicted of either of the two counts of possession of child pornography, Hopson faces not less than 10 years and not more than 20 years imprisonment, as well as a fine of up to $250,000, per count.

This case is being investigated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Hopson is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Judy Smith and Ryan Bergsieker and Department of Justice Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section Trial Attorney Keith Becker.

The charges contained in the indictment are allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC), 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' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, PSC marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims.

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