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Sweeping Child Porn Bust

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Oct 31, 2003 12:00 AM PST    Text size: 
LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Two former teachers and 17 other suspects were brought into custody as part of a prolonged investigation into a child porn ring in Southern California.

The charges ranged from sexual solicitation of minors to possession and distribution of child porn, authorities reported.

The arrests were carried out by a task force of federal agents and local law enforcement officers that had been on the case for months prior to the arrests.

Suspect Randall Steven Eichert of La Palma was caught trying to entice an undercover police officer - posing as a minor in a chat room - into having sex.

Among the 19 child pornography suspects, eleven were arrested and three agreed to plead guilty, including a 29-year-old man who worked in children's television production, authorities said.

The Assistant U.S. Attorney told the Los Angeles Times that two of the suspects were already registered sex offenders.

"These crimes involve the exploitation of children, the possession and receiving of child pornography and enticing minors to have sex," Assistant U.S. Attorney told the Times. "These are people from all walks of life committing these crimes."

The child porn suspects included a 37-year-old former teacher who allegedly accessed child pornography on a computer at the Cal State Northridge library, and a former employee of the Los Angeles County Office of Education, who was charged with accessing child porn from a city-owned computer network.

Those suspects who authorities say have agreed to plead guilty are children's television producer Jason Michael Handy of Sherman Oaks; Jeffrey Resnick of Mission Viejo; and Marvin Gerhard Starr of Santa Monica.

In another large child porn bust, six men in the western part of Australia were taken into custody after investigators seized more than 120,000 images and videos containing child pornography.

After a more thorough investigation, authorities uncovered another 60,000 child pornographic images which led to the issuance of statewide warrants.

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