LOS ANGELES: A Fresno man who was part a California child exploitation ring in which members filmed themselves sexually abusing more than 20 children and then distributed the footage on the dark web was sentenced to life in prison Friday, prosecutors said.
What John Richard Brinson Jr did 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.
Brinson, 28, pleaded guilty in July to one count of engaging in a child exploitation enterprise and four counts of production of child pornography, each representing a different victim.
"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," US 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.
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.
The site on the dark web allowed him to hide his identity and meet two of his co-defendants, Arlan Harrell, of Hawthorne, and Moises Martinez, of San Jose.