Burleson man sentenced on child pornography charges
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DALLAS — Daryl Glenn Pawlak, 39, of Burleson, Texas, was sentenced this morning by U.S. District Judge Sidney A. Fitzwater to 210 months in federal prison, followed by a 15-year term of supervised release, for child pornography offenses.  The announcement was made today by U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.

A federal jury convicted Pawlak of one count of receipt of child pornography and one count of access with intent to view material containing child pornography involving a prepubescent minor.  Following the verdict, Judge Fitzwater remanded Pawlak into custody. 

            “Contrary to their innocent-sounding names, websites like Playpen facilitate the sexual victimization of children with ruthless efficiency,” said U.S. Attorney Parker. “Posts on these websites are frequently categorized within forums and sub-forums according to the child’s age, gender, and type of sexual abuse inflicted upon them.  Targeting these websites and those who run and use them is a critical part of protecting and rescuing these children.”

 

            This case arose from an FBI undercover operation involving an illegal member-only hidden-services website called Playpen.  Playpen was dedicated to the advertisement and distribution of child pornography.   

 

Pawlak was one of the individuals caught as a result of the FBI’s operation when he logged onto the website in March 2015 and clicked on a post, which caused a network investigative technique to be launched from the site onto his computer.  Pawlak registered with the Playpen site in September 2014 and had spent approximately 14.6 hours logged into the website prior to the FBI’s two-week operation.  

 

The FBI spoke with Pawlak as a part of its investigation.  Pawlak confessed that he had been using his work computers to look at child pornography.  He told the FBI that he began looking at child pornography sometime in 2012, he used the Tor network to find child pornography, and estimated that he had spent, on average, approximately half an hour a week seeking out child pornography.  Pawlak told the FBI that he preferred child pornography that depicted girls between the ages of 7-11 years old. 

 

As a result of the FBI’s operation, at least 350 U.S.-based individuals have been prosecuted nationwide.  At least 55 American children who were subjected to sexual abuse have been successfully identified or rescued, including at least four in the North Texas area.  In addition, internationally, at least 296 sexually abused children internationally have been successfully identified or rescued as a result of the operation.  This case was prosecuted as a part of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood Initiative, which is aimed at protecting children from sexual abuse and exploitation.  For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.

 

The FBI investigated this case.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jamie L. Hoxie and Paul Yanowitch prosecuted.

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