*Please Be Advised, Sensitive Subject Matter Discussed, May Cause Extreme Discomfort To The Reader *
LOS ANGELES, California -
On Friday, April 22, 2022, a 28-Year-old man, who was part a California child exploitation ring, was sentenced to life in prison for sexually abusing more than 20 children. Members filmed themselves in the sexual act with the victims and then, distributed the footage on the dark web, prosecutors said, per Wionews.com and APNews.com.
What John Richard Brinson Jr. did to those children was “evil,” Judge André Birotte Jr. said in Los Angeles federal court. "I don’t know how else to say it,” Birotte said, per APNews.com.
Brinson, 28, pleaded guilty in July to one count of engaging in a child exploitation enterprise and four counts of production of child pornography, with each representing a different victim, per APNews.com.
“The life sentence imposed in this case is warranted by the defendant’s callous and violent abuse of children, some of whom were filmed while screaming in pain,” U.S. Attorney Tracy L. Wilkison said in a statement. “The child exploitation enterprise impacted more than 20 victims — children who were sexually assaulted, sometimes repeatedly, solely for the pleasure of this defendant and his cohorts.” APNews.com reported.
Per APNews.com, Brinson distributed and advertised child exploitation materials in 2016 and 2017 on a website dedicated to sexual abuse of children up to 5 years old, prosecutors said. Brinson was able to hide his identity due to the allowances of the site he used on the dark web, where he met two of his co-defendants, Arlan Harrell, of Hawthorne, and Moises Martinez, of San Jose.
Harrell and Martinez each separately brought children to Brinson’s home that they abused together while shooting child pornography video, APNews.com reported.
Per APNews.com, Harrell, who pleaded guilty to engaging in a child exploitation enterprise, obtaining custody of a minor for purposes of producing child pornography, production of child pornography and possession of child pornography, was sentenced to life in prison in February 2022.
Martinez pleaded guilty to engaging in a child exploitation enterprise and production of child pornography and was sentenced to 55 years in prison, per APNews.com.
Keith Lawniczak, Brinson’s roommate, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of a child. Lawniczak confessed, he let Brinson live in the house for free and admitted that he benefited by being able to watch the sexual abuse, according to court documents, per APNews.com.