In a disturbing case that highlights the severity of child exploitation, a Rockford man has been sentenced to 15 years in federal prison. James Umbaugh, 57, pled guilty to possessing over 7,900 images and videos of child pornography, including explicit content involving minors and toddlers. Umbaugh also admitted to acting as a moderator and administrator for chat rooms and websites that promoted the distribution of child abuse and exploitation materials. Along with his prison sentence, Umbaugh has been ordered to pay $18,000 in restitution to his victims. This heinous crime serves as a sobering reminder of the ongoing need to protect innocent children from those who seek to exploit them.
Rockford Man Sentenced to 15 Years in Federal Prison for the Sexual Exploitation of Children
Sentence and Admission of Guilt
Rockford Man Sentenced to 15 Years in Federal Prison
On Friday, June 9, 2023, James Umbaugh, a resident of Rockford, was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for sexually exploiting children. Umbaugh, 57, admitted in a plea agreement that he knowingly possessed explicit images of prepubescent minors, minors under the age of twelve, and toddlers engaged in sex acts on his home computer. His possession included over 7,900 images and videos of child pornography, some of which depicted children engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Umbaugh acquired these materials online.
Admission of Guilt in Plea Agreement
As part of his plea agreement, Umbaugh acknowledged his guilt in the sexual exploitation of children. He admitted to knowingly possessing and sharing illegal images and videos of minors involved in sexual acts. This admission is a crucial step in holding offenders accountable for their actions and ensuring justice for the victims of these heinous crimes.
Possession of Child Pornography
Number of Images and Videos Possessed
Umbaugh’s possession of child pornography was significant in both quantity and scope. He had over 7,900 images and videos of child pornography on his home computer. This vast collection represents a significant threat to the safety and well-being of children, as each image and video perpetuates the exploitation and abuse of minors.
Explicit Conduct Depicted in the Material
The materials in Umbaugh’s possession depicted explicit conduct involving prepubescent minors, children under the age of twelve, and even toddlers. The nature of this explicit conduct further underscores the severity of Umbaugh’s actions and the harm inflicted upon the victims involved.
Source of Obtaining Child Pornography
Umbaugh obtained the child pornography he possessed through online sources. He actively sought out and accessed websites and chat rooms that facilitated the distribution of child abuse and exploitation materials. Umbaugh’s involvement in these online platforms allowed him to contribute to the dissemination and perpetuation of child exploitation materials.
Moderator and Administrator for Child Exploitation Websites
Duration of Involvement
From 2016 to 2018, Umbaugh played the role of moderator and administrator for various chat rooms and websites dedicated to child exploitation. His involvement spanned over two years, during which he actively participated in enabling the distribution of child abuse materials.
Roles and Responsibilities
As a moderator and administrator, Umbaugh had significant responsibilities within these online platforms. He oversaw and managed the operations of the chat rooms and websites, ensuring their smooth functioning and facilitating communication between users involved in child exploitation.
Websites and Chat Rooms Involved
The specific websites and chat rooms in which Umbaugh served as a moderator and administrator have not been disclosed. However, the investigation confirmed his active involvement in platforms dedicated to child exploitation and the promotion of the distribution of child abuse materials.
Promotion of Distribution of Child Exploitation Materials
Umbaugh’s role as a moderator and administrator involved actively promoting the distribution of child exploitation materials within the online communities he moderated. His actions directly contributed to the perpetuation of child abuse and the harm inflicted upon innocent children.
Restitution to Victims
Amount of Restitution Ordered
In addition to the prison sentence, U.S. District Court Judge Philip G. Reinhard ordered Umbaugh to pay $18,000 in restitution to his victims. This financial compensation aims to acknowledge the harm caused to the victims and assist them in their recovery and healing processes.
Purpose of Restitution
Restitution serves as a means to hold offenders accountable for the financial impact their crimes have on their victims. It acknowledges the tangible and intangible losses suffered by the victims and provides them with support for their ongoing recovery and rehabilitation.
Identification and Compensation of Victims
Efforts are being made by law enforcement agencies and victim support organizations to identify the victims depicted in the images and videos possessed by Umbaugh. Once identified, steps will be taken to ensure that the restitution ordered by the court is provided directly to these victims, offering them assistance and aid in overcoming the lasting effects of their exploitation.
Announcement of Sentence by Officials
Statement by Morris Pasqual, Acting United States Attorney
Morris Pasqual, the Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, announced the sentence imposed on James Umbaugh for his sexual exploitation of children. Pasqual emphasized the severity of Umbaugh’s crimes and the significant harm inflicted upon the victims. He reaffirmed the commitment of law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies to pursue those who exploit and abuse children vigorously.
Statement by Robert W. “Wes” Wheeler, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the FBI Chicago Field Office
Robert W. “Wes” Wheeler, Jr., the Special Agent-in-Charge of the FBI Chicago Field Office, joined in the announcement of Umbaugh’s sentence. Wheeler highlighted the importance of collaborative efforts between federal agencies and local law enforcement in combating child exploitation. He emphasized the FBI’s commitment to investigating and bringing to justice individuals who engage in these heinous acts.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica S. Maveus
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica S. Maveus played a pivotal role in the prosecution of James Umbaugh. Her dedication to seeking justice and holding offenders accountable ensures that those who exploit and harm children will face the consequences of their actions.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael D. Love
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael D. Love also contributed to the investigation and prosecution of Umbaugh. His expertise and commitment to protecting children from exploitation made significant contributions to the case.
Attorney James Burke from the Department of Justice’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section
Attorney James Burke, representing the Department of Justice’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, provided invaluable legal expertise and support throughout the investigation and prosecution of Umbaugh. His dedication to combating child exploitation helped bring justice to the victims affected by this case.
Project Safe Childhood
Project Safe Childhood is a nationwide initiative aimed at combatting the sexual exploitation and abuse of children. This program brings together federal, state, and local resources to identify, investigate, and prosecute individuals involved in child exploitation crimes. The sentencing of James Umbaugh is an example of the ongoing efforts to protect children and hold offenders accountable under the Project Safe Childhood initiative.
Child exploitation crimes fall under the category of violent crimes due to the significant harm they cause to their victims. By addressing the link between child exploitation and violent crime, law enforcement agencies and prosecutors can ensure that offenders like James Umbaugh are appropriately sentenced and the rights of the victims are protected and prioritized.
The involvement of Umbaugh in online platforms dedicated to child exploitation highlights the alarming rise in cybercrime. Addressing cybercrime not only entails investigating and prosecuting offenders but also implementing strategies to safeguard children from online predators. Education, awareness, and collaborative efforts are essential to combating the ever-evolving threat of cybercrime.
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For more information or inquiries related to the Rockford man’s sentencing for the sexual exploitation of children, please use the following contact information:
Northern District of Illinois Email: [email protected] Chicago: (312) 353-5300 Rockford: (815) 987-4444
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The sentencing of James Umbaugh to 15 years in federal prison highlights the commitment of law enforcement agencies and prosecutorial teams to combat the sexual exploitation of children. Umbaugh’s admission of guilt, possession of child pornography, and involvement in child exploitation websites have warranted severe consequences. Through initiatives like Project Safe Childhood, federal agencies, local law enforcement, and legal professionals continue their relentless pursuit of justice for victims and the eradication of child exploitation. The importance of collaboration, public awareness, and support for victims is paramount in creating a safer environment for children and ensuring the accountability of offenders.