Anthony Brett Banks, 30, formerly of Kannapolis, N.C., was sentenced by Judge Curtis L. Collier, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Chattanooga on Wednesday. As part of the plea agreement filed with the court, Banks agreed to plead guilty to a superseding indictment charging him with one count of transportation of child pornography, and one count of causing another person to transport and ship child pornography in interstate commerce.
Banks was sentenced to 480 months in prison, followed by 10 years of supervised release. Banks will be required to register with state sex offender registries and comply with special sex offender conditions during his supervised release.
The defendant sexually abused his 9-month-old biological daughter, created digital videos of the abuse, and traded several of the images with someone he met in an online room dedicated to sexually abusing animals. The person with whom the defendant swapped images was located in the Eastern District of Tennessee.
“The US Attorney’s Office, along with its law enforcement partners, is committed to apprehending child sex predators wherever they operate," said Acting United States Attorney Francis M. Hamilton III. "Today’s sentence sends a strong message to sexual predators and demonstrates our commitment to protecting the community’s most vulnerable victims.”
“Each year, millions of children fall prey to sexual predators,” said Homeland Security Investigation Nashville Special Agent in Charge Jerry C. Templet, Jr. “HSI agents make it a top priority to protect vulnerable children from victimization by working with their law enforcement partners to investigate predators involved with the production, distribution and possession of child sexual abuse material and ensure they are held accountable for their heinous actions. I commend our agents for their tireless efforts in this case, which resulted in a guilty plea and a lengthy federal prison sentence for the offender.”
The criminal indictment was the result of an investigation by the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, HSI, and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation. This investigation was led by Task Force Officer Ed Merritt and Special Agent Dave Nalley of HSI and Special Agent Chris Munden of the NC SBI.
Assistant United States Attorney James T. Brooks represented the United States. This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006, by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, PSC marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims.
For more information about PSC, please visit www.justice.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.justice.gov/psc/resources.html and click on the tab "resources.”