Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Mark A. Hoffman - 50 years for Production of Child Pornography - Wife not yet sentenced

Mark A. Hoffman, 35, of Portland pleaded guilty to using his own children, a two-year old and a 10-year old, in the production of child pornography.

The father of three sold the photos around the country in a nationwide pedophile ring. His wife Kathrine Hoffman faces separate state charges for tampering with evidence.

Police say his wife, Katherine Dawn Hoffman, 33, learned of the abuse by 2005. In state court, she was indicted on charges of hindering prosecution, tampering with evidence, four counts of first-degree criminal mistreatment and second-degree encouraging child sex abuse.

The two counts of production of child pornography carry a sentence of 50 years in prison. He will serve a lifetime of supervision if he is ever released, according to the FBI and U.S. District Judge Robert E. Jones.

Judge Jones stated this was one of the worst cases he had seen in his 47 years in practice.

“It is appalling that this father would steal the innocence of his own children,” stated Acting United States Attorney Kent Robinson. “Because of the determined collaborative efforts of law enforcement, this parent has been brought to justice for his crimes.”

The federal investigation began in 2006 when an undercover online police officer, working with the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, received child pornography videos from a Florida man.

The videos depicted the sexual molestation of that man’s 5-year-old daughter. After his arrest, the man provided agents with information that led them down a trail of fathers and guardians across the country who were sexually abusing minor children in their care.

Eventually, information was provided to authorities about Hoffman and his then 2- and 10-year-old daughters. Images sent by Hoffman to other fathers included pictures and videos of Hoffman’s minor daughters engaged in sexual conduct with Hoffman.

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