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Kentucky man pleads guilty to making and distributing child pornography

According to court documents obtained by New India Abroad, Mayank Patel, 27, forced a 7-year-old girl to orally copulate him while he took photos and video.

Mayank Patel is accused of making and distributing child pornography. (Fayette County, Kentucky Sheriff's Department photo)

A 27-year-old Lexington, Kentucky man faces up to 50 years in prison when he is sentenced on June 13 for making and distributing child pornography with victims as young as 7.

Mayank Patel pleaded guilty on March 2 to two felony counts of possessing and producing child pornography. He will also have to pay a maximum $500,000 fine and also faces a minimum of 10 years of supervised release. The defendant is being held without bond until his sentencing.

According to court documents obtained by New India Abroad, Department of Homeland Security Special Agent James Bugg — who specializes in federal criminal violations related to high technology or cybercrime, child exploitation, and child pornography — began investigating Patel in January when he learned that he was a member of a website named simply ‘Chat Application A’ in the complaint.

‘Chat Application A’ has the ability for users to form “communities.” Patel belonged to at least 30 communities within the site, which were created solely for distributing child pornography.

On January 23, Patel allegedly uploaded a 37-second video of a young male, believed to be about 10-12 years of age, who removed his clothing and began masturbating. Investigators went to Patel’s home, and the defendant agreed to allow them to search his devices: an Apple I phone, and an Apple Mac Book Pro.

Patel admitted to investigators that he possessed child sexual abuse videos on his devices and admitted to viewing hardcore and violent child sexual abuse material that included serious bodily harm to infants. He also admitted that he took his phone with him on a trip to India, but the complaint does not state whether he produced pornography there.

In a separate incident, Patel filmed a neighbour’s child, believed to be about 7, placing her mouth on his genitals. The video depicts the little girl saying: “don’t pee in my mouth.” The child predator also filmed the little girl’s breasts and genitals and her face was visible in the videos.

The complaint does not state whether Patel received any form of payment for producing and distributing the videos.

According to the website, Enough is Enough, the US hosts more child sexual abuse content online than any other country in the world. At the end of March 2022, the US accounted for 30% of the global total of child sexual abuse material URLs, according to the Internet Watch Foundation.

About 98% of child sexual abuse material reports involved children under 13 years, 30% of which involved children under 10 years, including infants and toddlers, reports IWF. TikTok and YouTube are among the social media sites where sexually explicit materials can be found, but both companies say they have a strict removal policy. However, many parents have complained that once a photo or video is uploaded, it is almost impossible to get it removed.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children operates the CyberTipline, a national mechanism for the public and electronic service providers to report instances of suspected child sexual exploitation. In 2018 the CyberTipline received more than 18.4 million reports. Girls are the overwhelming majority of victims in child exploitation cases. When boys are victimized, they are much more likely than girls to be subjected to very explicit or egregious abuse.

Internet chat rooms are one of the primary ways predators find their victims. Posing as teens in chat rooms geared for young people, the predator makes contact by sending private messages to young users.

Parents are encouraged to keep all computers in public spaces in the home and to warn their kids about the dangers of online chatting with strangers.

Parents whose children have been sexually abused should immediately contact the local law enforcement agency.