Huntsville man gets 25 years in prison for using 10-year-old to make child porn

Darnell Lawson

He also must register as a sex offender.

Posted: Jan 16, 2020 4:29 PM
Updated: Jan 16, 2020 5:02 PM

A Huntsville man will spend 25 years in prison after pleading guilty to sexually exploiting a 10-year-old girl.

Darnell Lawson was sentenced Thursday by United States District Court Judge Abdul K. Kallon.

Lawson pleaded guilty to producing child pornography and enticing a young girl to engage in sexual activity for the purpose of creating obscene images, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town and U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations Assistant Special Agent in Charge James G. Hernandez­.

Lawson also must register as a sex offender.

Lawson performed sex acts on the girl and did drugs off her body while performing sex acts, Huntsville police told WAAY 31 in April 2018. (Read more here)

“A long prison sentence is well-deserved for this defendant,” Town said. “Lawson stole the innocence of a young girl and gave her no sanctuary of a childhood. He will now spend the next 25 years in federal prison where there is no sanctuary of parole.”

“This case demonstrates how HSI seeks to partner with all the relevant stakeholders to protect those among us that are the most vulnerable,” Hernandez said. "HSI partnered with Huntsville PD, and the NCAC multidisciplinary team to get this predator off our streets.”

This case is part of Project Safe Childhood, a U.S. Department of Justice nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood combines federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/pcs.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) also encourage the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at (866) 347-2423. Investigators are available at all hours to answer hotline calls. Tips or other information can also be submitted to ICE online by visiting their website at www.ice.gov/exec/forms/hsi-tips/tips.asp or through the Operation Predator smartphone application www.ice.gov/predator/smartphone-app. Tips may be submitted anonymously.

U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations along with the Huntsville Police Department investigated the case, which Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert J. Becher, Sr. prosecuted.

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