SACRAMENTO : Daniel Wayne Benner, 35, was sentenced today to eight years in prison for distribution of child pornography, Acting U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.
According to court documents, between July 3 and 5, 2019, Benner distributed child pornography, using the Kik Messenger app. Benner used a smartphone, the internet, and Kik messenger to send a video and still images depicting minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct, and being sexually abused, to a person in Arkansas. Further investigation revealed that Benner was also sending and receiving visual depictions of child sexual abuse with other people. At the time of his arrest, Benner’s publicly accessible Facebook profile included a picture of a “My Little Pony” costume with a caption reading, “Rainbow Dash is looking to come to your birthday party, and she brings candy and music … contact me for quotes / She will travel anywhere in Sacramento County.” Benner stated that he and two friends were going to start a birthday party business but were unable to secure any customers.
“The offense of distributing visual depictions of very young children being sexually abused is very serious and contributes to ongoing harm for the victims,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Talbert. “Despite having been convicted of a prior offense with a minor victim, he engaged in the trafficking of images and videos showing children being harmed. While today’s sentence will deter the defendant from reoffending while he is in custody, it should also serve as a deterrence to others from using social media tools to traffic in visual depictions child sexual abuse.”
This case was the product of an investigation by the FBI and the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, a federally and state-funded task force managed by the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department with agents from federal, state, and local agencies. The Sacramento ICAC investigates online child exploitation crimes, including child pornography, enticement, and sex trafficking. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christina McCall prosecuted the case.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute those who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. Click on the “resources” tab for information about internet safety education.