SAN FRANCISCO – LAWFUEL – The Law Newswire – United States Attorney Scott N. Schools announced that Clifford Durham, 64, formerly of Berkeley, pled guilty in United States District Court today to one count of possessing child pornography. According to the plea agreement, Durham returned from China to San Francisco International Airport on April 10, 2006, with an external hard drive containing numerous images of child pornography, many of which depicted prepubescent girls. The images were discovered during a routine border search of Mr. Durham’s luggage upon reentering the United States.
In the plea agreement, Mr. Durham has agreed to serve a prison term of at least 10 years, the mandatory minimum sentence for individuals convicted of this offense who have a prior conviction involving the sexual abuse of a minor, and a term of supervised release of 10 years. Mr. Durham was convicted in 1991 on four counts of lewd and lascivious acts upon a minor under the age of 14, after he molested a five-year-old girl in his care. He was sentenced to one year in jail and five years probation on those charges. Sentencing in the instant case is scheduled for July 27, 2007, at 11:00 a.m., before the Honorable Susan Illston, United States District Court Judge.
Possession of child pornography, pursuant to Title 18, United States Code, Section 2252(a)(4)(B), carries a ten-year maximum term of imprisonment, a maximum term of supervised release of up to life, a maximum fine of $250,000, and a mandatory special assessment of $100. For persons with a prior conviction relating to child pornography or the sexual exploitation of a minor, the offense carries a statutory mandatory minimum penalty of ten years imprisonment, and a maximum term of imprisonment of twenty years.
The investigation, part of the Justice Department’s Project Safe Childhood, is a result of the efforts of United States Customs Border Protection and the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Project Safe Childhood is a national initiative launched last year by the U.S. Department of Justice aimed at combining federal, state and local law enforcement resources in order to bring more online child exploitation prosecutions, and to educate the public about the dangers that the Internet poses to children.
Michelle Morgan-Kelly, the District’s Project Safe Childhood Coordinator, is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting the case, with the assistance of legal assistants Cynthia Daniel and Rawaty Yim.
Further Information:Case #: CR 06 0326 SI
A copy of this press release may be found on the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s website at www.usdoj.gov/usao/can.
Electronic court filings and further procedural and docket information are available at https://ecf.cand.uscourts.gov/ (click on the link for “to retrieve documents from the court”).
Judges’ calendars with schedules for upcoming court hearings can be viewed on the court’s website at www.cand.uscourts.gov.
All press inquiries to the U.S. Attorney’s Office should be directed to Natalya Labauve at (415) 436-7055 or by email at [email protected]