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Rocklin man sentenced to eight years in prison for possession of child pornography

Callahan was former Court Appointed Special Advocates volunteer
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United States District Judge Morrison C. England Jr. on Thursday sentenced Donald G. Callahan, 63, of Rocklin, to eight years and one month in prison, to be followed by 10 years of supervised release, for possession of child pornography, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced. England also imposed a$15,000 fine.

This case was the product of an investigation by the Sacramento Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, a federally and state-funded task force managed by the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department with agents from federal, state and local agencies. The Sacramento ICAC investigates online child exploitation crimes, including child pornography, enticement and sex trafficking. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle Reardon prosecuted the case.

According to court documents, in September 2011, law enforcement identified a computer at Callahan’s home offering child pornography through an Internet file-sharing service. On Oct. 25, 2011, agents searched Callahan’s home and seized his computer and several compact disks. The computer contained approximately 898 image files and 536 video files showing the sexual exploitation of children. On the compact disks were an additional 16 video files. The collection included files showing the molestation of infants and toddlers.

At sentencing, England was concerned that Callahan, given the crime to which he pleaded and his own history of sexual abuse, had been involved in the Court Appointed Special Advocate program. CASA volunteers work on behalf of children who are in the California court system, often as the result of being victims in abuse and neglect cases.

England noted that Callahan’s past victimization was not an excuse for his actions.

“Regardless of your past, there has got to be recognition at some point that there are consequences for your actions,” England said. He noted that every time Callahan downloaded and viewed images of child pornography, “The victim gets victimized again.”

Don Kleinfelder, executive director of Child Advocates of Placer County, would not comment as to whether Callahan had been a volunteer in Placer County, but said he was aware of the situation.

“We run our volunteers through four difference checks, including FBI, Department of Justice, DMV and then something called Child Abuse Central Index,” Kleinfelder said.

The index, according to the California Office of the Attorney General, is “a tool for state and local agencies to protect the health and safety of California’s children.” Child abuse investigations reported to the CACI pertain to investigations of alleged physical abuse, sexual abuse, mental/emotional abuse and/or severe neglect of a child. The reports are submitted by county welfare and probation departments. Information on file includes names and descriptions of suspects and victims listed on reports, types of abuse investigation and the findings of the investigation.

England stated that he hoped the sentence would deter others who might consider downloading and possessing images and videos of minors being sexually abused, and that anyone who was considering such acts would realize that “it is just not worth it.”

England was also concerned that some of the images at issue in this case showed the sexual molestation of toddlers and infants. According to England, “This is the worst type of violence in a crime such as this that you can have.”

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, 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, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute those who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, visit usdoj.gov/psc. Click on the “resources” tab for information about Internet safety education.