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ICE Helps Arrest Library Employee Accused of Sexually Exploiting Children

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Posted: Sep 13, 2020 10:00 PM
ICE Helps Arrest Library Employee Accused of Sexually Exploiting Children

Source: Courtesy of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) helped nab a Putnam County, Florida library employee accused of producing child exploitation materials. 

Authorities say Kurt Batucan Sheldon, 29, a Putnam county library employee, admitted to having child sexual abuse material on his computer and asking underage girls that he met online to send nude photographs, an ICE press release detailed.

The investigation started after parents of a minor child contacted the Clay County Sheriff's Office about sexually explicit messages sent by an adult to their daughter on Snapchat and Whisper. The adult had represented himself as a male between the age of 25 and 29. The man requested nude images and videos from the child, who the man directed on how to pose. 

HSI investigators and the Clay County Sheriff's Office were able to identify Sheldon's residence through the IP address used by the suspect's Snapchat and associated Gmail account. HSI special agents and sheriffs deputies and detective executed a search warrant on Sheldon's residence on Sep. 4, when Sheldon admitted to possessing child sexual abuse materials. 

If convicted on charges, Sheldon faces a minimum mandatory sentence of 15 years, and up to 50 years, in federal prison. 

According to the Justice Department, the case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched by the Department of Justice in May 2006 in response to the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Project Safe Childhood combines federal, state, and local resources to help locate, apprehend, and prosecute those who sexually exploit children, and to help identify and rescue victims.