Child Porn Indictment For A Twain Harte Man
Computer Crime - handcufs on computer keyboard
FResno, CA -- A federal grand jury in Fresno has returned a five-count indictment today against 62-year-old Curtis Benjamin Hults of Twain Harte for sexual exploitation of minors. The indictment calls for the forfeiture of all items used in the crime, including Hults' home.
The indictment alleges that between May 10, 2008, and October 8, 2012, Hults produced images of four different minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. It also alleges that between May 1, 2008, and July 15, 2013, Hults received images of child pornography from the Internet.
According to the criminal complaint, the investigation began when a victim of sexual abuse came forward with information that allowed investigators to search Hults' home. Investigators say numerous computers, hard drives, and other electronic storage devices were seized on August 1, 2013. A forensic analysis of that evidence revealed that Hults had produced still and video images of at least four victims, and he had obtained thousands of images of child pornography through the Internet.
Assistant United States Attorney David Gappa says, "We can't reveal whether any of the victims are from Tuolumne County or the surrounding areas. All I can say is that there is a criminal complaint referenced in the indictment."
Gappa also says that the investigation is ongoing and anyone with information that might help in the identification of additional victims is encouraged to contact Tuolumne County Sherriff's Office Detective Brandon Lowry at (209) 694-2955 or call the FBI office in Modesto at (209) 543-7846.
Hults was arraigned today and pled not guilty. The judge ordered Hults to remain behind bars stating he was a flight risk and danger to the community. His next court date is scheduled for November 12th at 1:00 p.m. before a U.S. Magistrate Judge.
If convicted, Hults faces 15 to 30 years in prison for each of the four child exploitation counts and 5 to 20 years in prison for the receipt and distribution charge. For each count there is a potential $250,000 fine and a lifetime term of supervised release.
This case is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Visalia Police Department, the Tuolumne County Sheriff's Office, and the Ceres Police Department.
Written by Tracey Petersen
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