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