From The Trussville Tribune staff reports
BIRMINGHAM — A federal grand jury returned an indictment on Feb. 27 charging an Alabama man, who was arrested earlier today, with production, distribution and receipt of child pornography, announced Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town and FBI Special Agent in Charge Johnnie Sharp Jr.
Benjamin Eugene Walter, 38, of Decatur, Alabama, was charged by indictment with five counts of production of child pornography, one count of distribution of child pornography and one count of receipt of child pornography. Walter was arrested on March 7, pursuant to an arrest warrant issued in conjunction with the indictment.
The indictment alleges that, between November 2013 and July 2014, Walter used and attempted to use five minors to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of transmitting a live visual depiction of such conduct. The indictment further alleges that Walter distributed child pornography in December 2015 and received child pornography between November 2013 and December 2015.
This investigation is a part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and CEOS, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.
The FBI is investigating this case. Trial Attorney William M. Grady of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) and Assistant U.S. Attorney R. Leann White are prosecuting the case.
The charges in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.