Two Southern California residents were indicted today on federal charges of conspiring to perform female genital mutilation on two minors. A federal grand jury in Los Angeles also alleged that the two produced child pornography involving a female minor who was enticed to engage in sexual conduct that was photographed.
Todd Cameron Bertrang, 41 , and Robyn Faulkinbury, 24, both of Canyon Country, were named in a four-count indictment that was returned this afternoon by a grand jury in Los Angeles.
According to the indictment, an undercover FBI agent contacted Bertrang through the Internet. Through a series of communications, Bertrang offered to perform female genital mutilation on two fictitious minor children, ages 8 and 12, for $8,000. During the investigation, Bertrang stated to investigators that he had performed more female circumcisions than anyone in the Western World. In addition, Bertrang made known his understanding that it was “highly illegal” to perform the procedure on minors.
The case against Bertrang and Faulkinbury is the first case filed pursuant to the Federal Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation Act of 1995, which outlawed the circumcision or removal of certain sexual organs of girls under the age of 18 unless it is necessary for the health of the patient and only if it is performed by a licensed medical practitioner. Neither Bertrang nor Faulkinbury is licensed to practice medicine in the state of California.
Bertrang and Faulkinbury are charged with one count of conspiracy, one count of production of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. Additionally, the indictment alleges that Bertrang illegally possessed six firearms as he was prohibited from possessing firearms because of a felony conviction for perjury in 1994.
The charge of producing child pornography carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison.
If Faulkinbury is convicted of all three charges against her, she faces a maximum statutory sentence of 35 years in federal prison. Bertrang faces a maximum possible sentence of 40 years if he is convicted of all four charges in the indictment.
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty.
Both Bertrang and Faulkinbury are being held without bond. They are scheduled to be arraigned on the indictment on February 17.
This case is the result of an investigation by the Southern California Regional Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement Team – the SAFE Team – which is made up of agents and investigators from a number of agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Medical Board of California.