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Gainesville man arraigned in child porn case

POSTED: April 30, 2013 12:32 a.m.

A Gainesville man was arraigned Monday in federal court on charges he produced, distributed and received child pornography.

Michael Cannon II, 33, is accused of posting several images in December of a 10-year-old girl on a foreign-based website where people could post and share photographs, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia.

At least one of the images was child pornography, with several people commenting on the photographs and asking about trading photos.

Cannon, whose arraignment took place at U.S. District Court in Gainesville, allegedly gave those individuals his email address and, when they wrote him, he sent them explicit photographs showing him in the act of molesting two young girls.

In return, according to federal prosecutors, he received dozens of emails containing images and videos of other children being sexually abused.

As part of their investigation, special agents determined the identities of the two minor victims whom Cannon is alleged to have photographed and posted online.

An indictment against Cannon was returned by a federal grand jury on April 9.

Thomas L. Hawker of the Federal Defender Program in Atlanta is representing Cannon. He couldn’t be reached for comment.

“Photographing molestation and trading the images over the Internet with like-minded individuals in exchange for more child pornography is horrendous,” U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said.

“Child pornography robs children of their innocence. It also places a permanent record of the victimization of these children on the Internet.

“To make matters even worse, in this case the two girls were in the defendant’s care.”

The charge of producing child pornography carries a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison and a maximum sentence of 30 years. Receiving child pornography carries a mandatory minimum of five years and a maximum of 20 years.

Possessing child pornography carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. Each charge carries a fine of up to $250,000 and a period of supervised release from 5 years to life.

Special agents of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security are investigating the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul R. Jones is prosecuting it.


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