The coronavirus outbreak has slowed down many aspects of everyday life, but this change in circumstance simply means new opportunities for some. Unfortunately, as Americans continue to spend more time at home, domestic and sexual crimes are on the rise, and the coronavirus adds a lot of hardship to those already experiencing domestic abuse, recently stated one former prosecutor currently serving as a state legislator for his home state.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) remains steadfast and vigilant in protecting our loved ones and children from domestic abuse and child predators.
In Texas, for example, the DOJ announced U.S. District Judge Mark T. Pittman of the Northern District of Texas sentenced a husband and wife for a combined 140 years in prison for crimes they committed against several children.
According to court records, thirty-eight-year-old Christopher James Regan received a sentence of ninety years after pleading guilty last October to a conspiracy to produce child pornography and an additional two counts of producing child pornography. His thirty-five-year-old wife, Tanya Marie Regan, received a sentence of fifty years after she also plead guilty last October to conspiracy to produce child pornography and a second count of possession of prepubescent child pornography. The husband and wife’s sentences included supervised release for the rest of their lives upon completion of their respective imprisonment terms.
Looking at their scheme in more detail, the court documents also shed light on the unlawful conduct serving the basis for their convictions. Christopher and Tanya Regan produced child pornography of and sexually abused several children, which they then possessed and shared with each other. Further, court records show that the husband and wife participated in detailed, graphic conversations regarding child sexual abuse on multiple platforms on the internet.
In their plea agreements, it is recorded that Christopher Regan directed Tanya Regan to repeatedly record herself engaging in sexual abuse of a child for Christopher’s “sexual gratification.” The plea papers also indicate that Tanya complied with Christopher’s requests.
In their investigation, law enforcement officers seized several electronics from Christopher and Tanya Regan’s home. Although multiple graphic recordings had been deleted at the time, those videos remained stored on their personal electronic devices, either in the recycle bin, or in undesignated memory storage space on a variety of SD cards.
The videos that were undeleted were stored in a folder on their computer titled: “users\tanya_000\pictures\privatevids\minor.”
This is one of many results of the DOJ’s commitment to its initiative to combat increasing outbreak of the sexual exploitation and abuse of children. Launched in spring 2006, the DOJ’s Project Safe Childhood is a collaborative effort between federal, state and local law enforcement and authorities to effectively identify, stop and prosecute persons and entities that engage in child exploitation, in addition to locating and rendering aid to victims of child sexual exploitation and abuse.
Even in this nationwide effort against the coronavirus outbreak, if you, friends, kids, or a family member see anything that could be domestic abuse, child sexual exploitation or abuse, or the possession, production or attempted possession or production of child pornography, please visit the website of the Department of Justice or FBI to report the activity and obtain more information.