Thursday, January 22, 2009

Terrill Marion Crane Pleads Guilty to Producing Child Pornography

Any potential victims or anyone with information is asked to call the FBI at 404-679-9000

TERRILL MARION CRANE, 49, of Atlanta, Georgia, pleaded guilty today before United States District Judge Thomas W. Thrash, Jr. to one count of producing child pornography.

United States Attorney David E. Nahmias said of today’s plea, “This case goes back a number of years, which makes the list of victims longer and the facts of the case even more disturbing. This defendant sexually exploited numerous young girls and that unforgivable criminal conduct went unchecked for years even after being brought to the attention of the Atlanta Police Department. The FBI continues to try to identify all victims involved with this defendant, and we will work to make sure there are no more.”

According to United States Attorney Nahmias and other information presented in court: Beginning in 1999, CRANE approached young girls in the Atlanta area and attempted to solicit them for sexual favors in exchange for cash. In most cases, CRANE took photos or directed photos to be taken of the sexual encounters. In 2003, CRANE’s wife, who was then a Sergeant with the Atlanta Police Department, got a call from an unidentified person at APD Headquarters advising that APD had photographs of her husband in the sexual encounters. CRANE’s wife said she found and destroyed some of the photographs by burning them. Even after that time, the sexual activity with the young females, many of them middle school age, continued. In October 2007, APD officers advised the FBI of photographic evidence involving 11 girls, most of them middle school age, which had been provided to APD by a film development store in 2000.

After FBI investigation with the assistance of APD, on November 20, 2007, FBI agents executed a federal search warrant for CRANE’s Atlanta residence on Beecher Road. Agents found undeveloped film, including some from disposable cameras, later shown to be CRANE engaged in sexual activity with the girls, including two additional girls, and nude photos of some of the girls alone. Some of the girls in the photos found at CRANE’s residence have still not been identified. CRANE claimed to agents that some of the girls in the photographs were 20 years old, but several of the identified victims were minors at the time of the sexual activity and photographs and others appear to be minors. Some of the photos depicting young girls seized from CRANE’s residence are identical to some of the photographs initially provided to APD in 2000.

Sentencing for CRANE is set for March 27, 2009, at 11a.m. before Judge Thrash. CRANE faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison on the charge. In determining the actual sentence, the Court will consider the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which are not binding but provide appropriate sentencing ranges for most offenders.

This case is being investigated by Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and its Safe Child Task Force.

Assistant United States Attorney Jeffrey Brown is prosecuting the case.

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