US Department of Justice Release
PANAMA CITY, FLORIDA – A federal grand jury has returned a four-count indictment charging Donyel James Fitts, 28, of Sneads, with manufacturing child pornography. The indictment was announced today by Pamela C. Marsh, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.
Counts One and Two of the indictment allege that, on June 20 and 21, 2012, Fitts persuaded, induced, enticed, and coerced a child to engage in sexually explicit conduct, for the purpose of photographing the minor victim. Counts Three and Four of the indictment allege that Fitts videotaped a child engaged in sexually explicit conduct on October 16, 2012, and October 19 2012, respectively.
For each count, if convicted, Fitts faces a mandatory sentence of 15 to 30 years in prison, a life term on supervised release, and a $250,000 fine.
This case is being investigated by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gayle Littleton.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched by the Department of Justice in May 2006 to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by United States Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
An indictment is merely a formal charge by the grand jury. Every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
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