Thursday, June 19, 2008

Ga. man arrested in international child porn case

Videos in which a child is assaulted were shared on the Web


The Atlanta Journal- Constitution

Published on: 06/17/08

Federal officials Tuesday announced the arrest of a 38-year-old LaFayette man on charges of manufacturing child pornography and uploading it on the Internet in the so-called "Tara" series an escalating record of violence allegedly recorded in hotels, cars and the man's home.

James Bartholomew "Bart" Huskey appeared in federal court in Atlanta on a criminal complaint that he created a series of child pornography and shared it on the Internet with an international, secretive group. The investigation, said officials, began two years ago in Australia, and wound up in Walker County, not far from the Georgia-Tennessee line. LaFayette is the county seat.

officials said, Huskey confessed to it all — the alleged assaults, the threats, the online series depicting a child at the mercy of someone much larger than she.

Huskey, who stands about 6 feet 1 and weighs roughly 250 pounds, said little as he sat before U.S. Magistrate Judge E. Clayton Scofield. He wore a blue T-shirt atop a baggy pair of gray gym shorts, his hands and feet shackled. His hair hung in his face. Huskey's ears reddened when Scofield asked him if he understood the charges against him.

Huskey is accused of periodically raping the child, said David Nahmias, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, and sharing the images with users from Australia to the United States.

"It became a worldwide manhunt," Nahmias said.

The abuse began, said Nahmias, when the child was about 5. She's 9 now.

2006, when they heard from counterparts in Brisbane, Australia. Investigators there said their probe into a shadowy group of porn aficionados indicated that the leader might live in the United States.

The group, officials learned, used a sophisticated series of passwords and encrypted communications designed to dodge police. But those ruses failed, according to documents, when police arrested a porn suspect in an unrelated case. The defendant told federal agents about the "Tara" series, the purported name of the girl in the videos. The suspect handed police encryption keys that would allow them to access the group, the affidavit states.

Agents began watching the assaults on "Tara."

Hotel pictures, car interiors

The man's face was pixelated, meaning computerized graphics scrambled his features. But the rest of the images were brutally clear. The last installment, recorded in November, showed the man holding large knife against the girl.

"They [online recordings] got progressively more disturbing over time," Nahmias said.

The recordings took place in different places, documents state. One recording, taken in a car, prompted agents to show the images of the interior to an unidentified representative of a Richmond car dealership. The representative said the interior looked like that in a 2003-2005 Pontiac Aztek painted sunburst orange.

They also checked some mass-produced art they saw in a video shot in a hotel room. Their queries led them to a hotel in Carrollton, in northwest Georgia. The recording, they noted, bore a date: July 21, 2007.

Agents visited the hotel and asked about who registered on July 21. One of the guests, according to records: Huskey.

Agents also learned that Sherri Ann Huskey, whose relationship to Huskey the documents do not explain, shared an address with the suspect.

She also had a 2005 Pontiac Aztek.

A few other pieces of evidence — background images from Huskey's home that were caught on video, a bedspread that came from an online shopping company — also tied Huskey to the videos, agents said.

When agents knocked on his door Monday night, Nahmias said, Huskey didn't struggle, didn't protest. He will remain in federal custody at least until Monday, when officials will present a motion for detention and Huskey will have a preliminary hearing.

The girl, Nahmias said, is in custody, and has identified her assailant.

Federal officials say they aren't through investigating the "Tara" series.

Related Subjects

David Nahmias

Sherri Ann Huskey


International porn case leads to Georgia

Original Article-

Ga. man arrested in international child porn case

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