Bradenton man sentenced to 27 years on federal child pornography charges

HERALD STAFF REPORTApril 12, 2013 

TAMPA -- A 25-year-old Bradenton man has been sentenced to 27 years in federal prison for distribution and receipt of child pornography.

U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Kovachevich also ordered Brian Leavitt to forfeit a laptop computer and hard drive, which were used in the offense, according to a press release. Leavitt pleaded guilty on November 15, 2012.

According to court documents, Leavitt distributed at least 86 files of child pornography from his computer to undercover FBI agents through the use of a peer-to-peer file sharing program in July 2010 and December 2010, the release stated.

In February 2011, Leavitt's computer was seized. A forensic search found more than 3,800 images and 13 videos of child pornography, officials said.

Leavitt admitted he had been seeking and downloading images and videos of child pornography. Leavitt had two prior juvenile adjudications for sex offenses against children, records show.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer L. Peresie.

The case is part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. It was launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice, the release states. Led by United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood pulls together federal, state and local resources to track down suspects who exploit children through the Internet, as well as to identify and help victims.

For more information on Project Safe Childhood, visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

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