Hawthorne Man Sentenced to Life for Child Porn Offenses

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – A 27-year-old Hawthorne man described by federal prosecutors as “horror incarnate” was sentenced today to life in prison for creating child sexual abuse material of 20 victims, ranging in age from babies to 9 years old, and obtaining custody of a 3-year-old for purposes of producing child pornography.

Arlan Wesley Harrell abused his victims in numerous ways and filmed and shared the acts on the dark web, a network specifically designed to facilitate anonymous communication over the internet, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Harrell “abused children that he babysat, he abused children who attended daycare and he abused children while chaperoning a school trip,” prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum.

“He abused children he had known since their birth and he abused children he had just met. Every child he encountered was in danger from him, and unfortunately, he encountered many.”

Harrell pleaded guilty in July to engaging in a child exploitation enterprise, obtaining custody of a minor for purposes of producing child pornography, production of child pornography and possession of child pornography.

According to court documents, on September 24, 2016, Harrell took custody of a 3-year-old from the baby’s grandmother and with the mother’s permission. He then drove to Fresno with the tot to abuse him with co-defendant John Brinson Jr., who brought his own sons.

Harrell and Brinson “sexually abused all three children and produced child sexual abuse material documenting and preserving their joint abuse of these three victims,” prosecutors wrote in documents filed in Los Angeles federal court.

Brinson Jr. pleaded guilty to engaging in a child exploitation enterprise and production of child pornography in July and is scheduled to be sentenced on April 22.

Co-defendant Moises Martinez pleaded guilty to engaging in a child exploitation enterprise and production of child pornography in 2019 and was sentenced in September to 55 years in prison followed by lifetime supervised release.

A fourth co-defendant, Keith Lawniczak, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of a child in 2019 and was sentenced in August 2020 to 12 years in prison followed by lifetime supervised release.

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