A U.S. Federal judge has sentenced an Australian man to 40 years in a U.S. prison for producing and sharing images of a child he adopted being sexually abused by other men.
Reports indicate the man and his Australian partner purchased the boy in an unidentified country for $8,000, than passed the child off as the biological son of one of the men.
In accepting the man’s plea to conspiracy charges involving child exploitation, the judge said she did so because the videos confiscated by investigators were too horrific to show a jury.
Prosecutors said the charges resulted from abuse that took place when the child was five or six years old, although they found video showing the boy being used for a sex act when he was less than two years old.
Federal prosecutors in Indiana, where the court proceedings took place, said the two men had been living with the boy in California. The Associated Press obtained court records indicating the men used falsified papers to legalize the child’s adoption. The child has been rescued and is being cared for in California, according to prosecutors.
Investigators reported finding recordings of the child being sexually abused on computers in San Francisco, Arlington, Va., and Anderson, Ind.
“These men submitted this young child to some of the most heinous acts of exploitation that this office has ever seen,” Indiana US Attorney Joe Hogsett said in a statement following the hearing.