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December 4, 2022

Morgan Hill man sentenced to 17 years for child pornography

Johnny Ray Wolfenbarger convicted of felonies in 2021 trial

A federal judge in San Jose sentenced a Morgan Hill man Monday to 210 months in prison – more than 17 years – on multiple counts of child pornography, prosecutors said.

A federal jury convicted 65-year-old Johnny Ray Wolfenbarger on Aug. 12, 2021, of attempted production of child pornography, the attempted coercion and enticement of a minor to engage in child pornography production, and the receipt of child pornography, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The FBI initiated an investigation into Wolfenbarger after receiving a report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that Wolfenbarger received and distributed child pornography using his email account. 

In 2016, a federal magistrate judge issued a search warrant authorizing the FBI to examine the contents of the email account, where investigators found numerous images and videos of child pornography, chats detailing Wolfenbarger’s solicitation of live-streamed child sex abuse shows, and receipts for money transfers by Wolfenbarger to numerous sex traffickers in the Philippines who were selling these shows. 

In an interview with the FBI, according to prosecutors, Wolfenbarger admitted that the email account belonged to him and that he solicited, paid for and directed live-streamed child sex abuse shows from numerous women and children as young as 4 years old in the Philippines.  

“All children, wherever they are, must be protected from being preyed upon by a sexual predator,” prosecutors said in an announcement. “Johnny Ray Wolfenbarger leveraged the extreme poverty and desperation of foreign families to perpetrate sexual abuse on their young children. His prison sentence reflects these vile acts and the immeasurable harm he caused to these children’s lives.” 

In addition to the 210-month prison term, U.S. District Judge Edward Davila sentenced Wolfenbarger to a 15-year term of supervision upon release from federal prison. The defendant was in custody at the hearing and began serving his prison term immediately.

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Staff Report
A staff member edited this provided article.

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