U. S. Attorney Eldridge commented, “This case is incomprehensible and extremely disturbing, especially in the light of the age of the youngest victim. Every time a video or image involving sexual abuse of children is downloaded or viewed, these innocent children are re-victimized. Prosecuting these types of cases remains one of the highest priorities in our office, and we will continue to work to expose this type of abhorrent activity and bring these perpetrators to justice.”
According to court records, on June 8, 2012, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office arrested Cottman on a state warrant. After being advised of his Miranda rights, Cottman admitted to exchanging child pornography with a group of individuals he had met on the internet. A subsequent forensic examination of Cottman’s cellular phone revealed multiple images and videos of minors engaged in sexual acts. At sentencing, the Government presented the Court with evidence that at least one of the minors depicted in the charged images was approximately three (3) years of age.
This case was investigated by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Secret Service of Investigations. Assistant U. S. Attorney Dustin Roberts prosecuted the case for the United States.
The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and their Criminal Division Child Exploitation and Obscenity Sections (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.
For more information about Project Safe Childhood, click here.
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