Sex offender pleads guilty to producing child porn

By News4Jax.com Staff, webteam@wjxt.com
Published On: Jul 17 2014 01:12:47 PM EDT
Updated On: Jul 17 2014 01:16:11 PM EDT

Christopher Cloonan

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

A 44-year-old Jacksonville man pleaded guilty Wednesday to using a minor to produce images depicting child pornography.

Christopher Cloonan is a registered child sex offender. He was convicted of two counts of attempted sexual battery on a child younger than 12 in 1991 in Charlotte County. Because of his prior child sex convictions, Cloonan faces a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment.

Cloonan was arrested on March 12 at his home in Jacksonville and has been in custody since that time.

According to court documents, in early March, an undercover officer with the District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department posted an advertisement on a website known to be frequented by people who have a sexual interest in children and incest. On March 8, Cloonan, using a particular screen name, responded to the ad and expressed interest and experience in sexual activity with a minor.

On March 11, Cloonan sent the undercover officer an email with two images attached. Both images were produced by Cloonan and depicted an infant engaged in sexually explicit conduct. A few minutes later, Cloonan sent the officer another email with two more explicit images of the same infant.

On March 12, the FBI's investigation revealed that the Internet protocol address used to send the pornographic images belonged to Cloonen. He was also identified as the subscriber of the Internet account.

Also, on the same date, Cloonan and the officer continued their online communications. In several different emails, Cloonan discussed his fantasies about sexual activities with children. At 5:33 p.m., Cloonan typed "Society is coming down so hard on 'child molesters' etc now, we are in danger everyday as lovers of children are not seen as different from those who hurt and kill them."

A search warrant was issued for Cloonan's home on March 12. That evening, FBI agents and Jacksonville Sheriff's Office personnel executed the warrant, at which time Cloonan came out of the home holding a smartphone. He was placed under arrest.

A preliminary analysis of Cloonan's smartphone revealed that it contained at least 85 images of child pornography, mostly depicting infants and toddlers. Two of the pornographic images were of the infant child that Cloonan had previously taken and sent to the undercover officer by email. Additional images depicting adults performing sexual acts on infants were also found on the phone.

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