In mid-February of this year, YCSO received a tip from the National Center for Missing Exploited Children regarding known images of child pornography downloaded to an electronic device. At least 2 images were reviewed and depicted preadolescent females in sexual positions, some appearing about 8-years old.
Detectives issued a subpoena for the account connected with the downloads and learned it was associated with 56-year-old Gene Sherman from Paulden, Arizona. Detectives eventually sought and obtained a search warrant for Sherman’s home in Paulden which was served March 11, 2019.
Sherman was contacted and admitted downloading the images already viewed by detectives and acknowledged the likelihood of similar images on other electronic devices in his home.
During a search of the home, deputies located a fully automatic rifle, along with numerous handguns and suppressors/silencers.
Sherman was arrested and charged for Possession of Child Pornography and Weapons Misconduct Offenses regarding the suppressors and fully automatic rifle.
The following day, detectives, based on the authority of the search warrant, conducted forensic downloads on Sherman’s electronic devices. A total of 10 child pornography images were found on these devices accessible only to Sherman by his admission. All images portrayed females under the age of 15 in sexual poses/situations, some with adult participation.
After Sherman’s booking on March 11, 2019, on the initial charges, Sherman was additionally charged with the 10 images of child pornography. He remains in-custody on a half a million ($500,000) dollar bond.
The effects of child pornography on its victims - as excerpted from https://www.justice.gov/criminal-ceos/child-pornography
“Because the term “child pornography” is used in federal statutes, it is also commonly used by lawmakers, prosecutors, investigators, and the public to describe this form of sexual exploitation of children. However, this term fails to describe the true horror that is faced by countless children every year. The production of child pornography creates a permanent record of a child’s sexual abuse. When these images are placed on the Internet and disseminated online, the victimization of the children continues in perpetuity. Experts and victims agree that victims depicted in child pornography often suffer a lifetime of re-victimization by knowing the images of their sexual abuse are on the Internet forever. The children exploited in these images must live with the permanency, longevity, and circulation of such a record of their sexual victimization. This often creates lasting psychological damage to the child, including disruptions in sexual development, self-image, and developing trusting relationships with others in the future.
…. Furthermore, victims of child pornography suffer not just from the sexual abuse inflicted upon them to produce child pornography, but also from knowing that their images can be traded and viewed by others worldwide. Once an image is on the Internet, it is irretrievable and can continue to circulate forever. The permanent record of a child´s sexual abuse can alter his or her live forever. Many victims of child pornography suffer from feelings of helplessness, fear, humiliation, and lack of control given that their images are available for others to view in perpetuity.
Unfortunately, emerging trends reveal an increase in the number of images depicting sadistic and violent child sexual abuse, and an increase in the number of images depicting very young children, including toddlers and infants.”
Citizens can contact the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office with information or questions at 928-771-3260 or the YCSO website: www.ycsoaz.gov