A 14-year-old girl who had traveled with her mother from England sat in a Honolulu courtroom Monday clutching a white and gray teddy bear as a federal judge considered sentencing recommendations for the man who had blackmailed her into sending him sexually explicit photographs of herself.
Neither the girl nor her mother addressed the court before the judge handed former Schofield Barrack soldier Christopher Fox the mandatory minimum 15-year prison term for producing child pornography.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Morgan Early told the judge the girl and her mother were too emotional to make victim impact statements.
In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Chief Judge J. Michael Seabright ordered Fox, 21, a former military police officer, to pay $10,000 restitution to the girl's mother and must submit to 10 years of restrictive court supervision after he gets out of prison.
Fox admitted that he met the girl in August 2016 on Instagram and exchanged nude photographs on Snapchat.
Federal investigators say the girl was 12 at the time but told Fox she was 13. When the girl cut him off, Fox threatened to share the pictures with her friends if she didn't send sexually explicit photographs of herself.
Fox said he created a fake account and used it to blackmail the girl.
The government says Fox labeled the Instagram account with the girl's name and posted nude pictures of her on it. The girl and her parents went to English police after the pictures started circulating at her school. The girl stopped going to school after getting bullied over the photographs.
Fox faced a maximum 30-year prison term. Seabright said he didn't hand Fox a higher sentence because of his age and opportunity for rehabilitation. But he said the 10 years of post-release court supervision, during which Fox will be prohibited from owning or possessing a computer or similar device and will be banned from accessing the internet, is absolutely necessary. Fox's lawyer had asked for a shorter period of supervision.
Seabright said he doesn't believe Fox has yet come to terms with the seriousness of his conduct and the harm he caused. In a letter to the court, Fox described what happened to the girl as a "blip in the road" in her life.
Fox was a member of the 728th Military Police Battalion at Schofield Barracks when he was arrested in August. The Army discharged him in December.
This article is written by Nelson Daranciang from The Honolulu Star-Advertiser and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.