Jury condemns Decatur Man for soliciting videos and webcam shows of Filipino sexually assaulted children “Shoals Insider


HUNTSVILLE, Alabama – A federal jury convicted on Tuesday a Morgan County man for using internet apps to search for images, videos and live broadcasts of violent sexual abuse of Filipino children as young as five years old.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Benjamin Walter, 41, of Decatur, used two web service provider accounts, including messaging and webcam apps, to trick women in the Philippines to sexually abuse their own children and relatives. Walter’s requests to these women, which lasted about three years, included instructions to organize gang rape of young children and sexually assault several young children in other harmful ways. Walter sent the money to the Philippines for these videos, images, and live transmissions via MoneyGram, Western Union, and other money transfer organizations in $ 25- $ 50 increments. In addition to the live webcam broadcasts, Walter also sent and received emails to which the senders attached pictures and videos of young children engaging in sex acts with adult men. This investigation was part of a joint FBI and Homeland Security Investigations operation that targeted buyers and sellers of these types of webcam shows in the Philippines.

“Today’s conviction sends a clear message that protecting the most innocent and vulnerable victims, our children, from child exploitation is of the utmost importance,” said US Attorney Escalona for the northern district of Alabama. “The jury’s decision to hold the accused accountable for his conduct and to reject his defenses demonstrates that those who commit these horrific crimes will be brought to justice swiftly and with certainty. We are grateful for the work of the FBI Birmingham Division, FBI Huntsville Residents’ Agency, for their investigation of this matter and for the help of the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section in the continuation of the case. “

The FBI and our partners will continue to work diligently to bring individuals like Walter to justice and protect our most precious possession, our children, ”said Special Agent in Charge Johnnie Sharp of the FBI Birmingham Field Office.

Walter was convicted of four counts of producing and attempting to produce child pornography and one count of receiving and distributing child pornography. The sentence is set for January 5, 2022. Walter faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum of 160 years in prison.

The FBI Birmingham Field Office and the Huntsville Residents’ Agency investigated the case.

Prosecutors Charles Schmitz and Nadia Prinz of the Department of Justice’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section and U.S. Assistant Attorney Leann R. White of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Alabama are suing the case.

This case was brought within the framework of the Safe Childhood Project, a national initiative launched by the Department of Justice in May 2006 to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Prosecutor’s Offices and Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood brings together federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute those who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.