Woman, 30, gets 20 years for child porn on In­ter­net

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NORTHWEST ARKANSAS - LINDA SATTER

A Searcy woman was sen­tenced July 20 to 20 years in fed­eral prison for live-broad­cast­ing im­ages of a par­tially nude tod­dler to a Texas man she met on the In­ter­net and was try­ing to im­press.

The im­ages that Lacy Brooks, 30, ad­mit­ted send­ing via Skype to the man she had never met in­cluded one of the 16-month-old child ly­ing on an opened di­a­per with a sex toy Brooks had strate­gi­cally placed on the child for the video.

The man, who had started out chat­ting with Brooks on­line and later be­gan ex­chang­ing phone calls and Skype ses­sions with her, had specif­i­cally asked for im­ages of her with a young girl, ac­cord­ing to an FBI agent’s af­fi­davit in sup­port of child pornog­ra­phy pro­duc­tion and dis­tri­bu­tion charges.

Although the af­fi­davit in­di­cates Brooks was re­luc­tant to com­ply with the man’s wishes and didn’t share his en­thu­si­asm, she nev­er­the­less com­plied, telling him she loved him.

In court July 20, Brooks, who pleaded guilty in Jan­uary, told U.S. Dis­trict Judge Billy Roy Wil­son, “I un­der­stand what I did was wrong and I apol­o­gize. It will never hap­pen again.”

Wil­son asked if any psy­cho­log­i­cal harm had been caused to the child. As­sis­tant U.S. At­tor­ney Erin Siob­han O’Leary said that wasn’t known yet, since the child is still so young.

Un­der fed­eral statutes, Brooks, who has no prior crim­i­nal his­tory, faced 15 to 30 years in prison on the charge of pro­duc­ing child pornog­ra­phy and 5 to 20 years on the dis­tri­bu­tion charge. Fed­eral sen­tenc­ing guide­lines rec­om­mended a range of 292 months (24 years and 4 months) to 360 months (30 years) for both counts to­gether, due to sen­tenc­ing en­hance­ments, in­clud­ing the child’s age when vic­tim­ized.

O’Leary asked Wil­son to im­pose a sen­tence within the guide­line range, while de­fense at­tor­ney Ni­cole Ly­brand of the fed­eral pub­lic de­fender’s of­fice sought the min­i­mum statu­tory sen­tence of 15 years. Ly­brand noted that an ex­pert had “ruled out any pe­dophilia ten­den­cies” in Brooks.

Ly­brand also ar­gued that Brooks “was groomed by this other party, and he did this to other women,” and that Brooks later as­sisted in the pros­e­cu­tion of the man, Brian Casper, in Texas.

Casper even­tu­ally pleaded guilty in the East­ern Dis­trict of Texas to a charge of con­spir­acy to pro­duce child pornog­ra­phy and was sen­tenced to 28 years in prison.

Af­ter re­cess­ing court to re­view doc­u­ments for sev­eral min­utes, Wil­son an­nounced the sen­tence. Not­ing that while there is “no in­di­ca­tion [Brooks] is likely to be a re­peat of­fender with chil­dren,” he said the video ex­changes in the fall of 2015, which were cap­tured on the man’s phone, con­sti­tuted a “se­ri­ous crime.”

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