Montgomery AL – The 45-year-old man who pleaded guilty to charges surrounding a viral video showing a young girl forced to perform oral sex on him was sentenced Thursday to 50 years in prison.
The sentence for Germaine Moore – who previously pleaded guilty in federal court to three counts of production of child pornography – was announced by U.S. Attorney Louis V. Franklin, Sr., Secretary of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Hal Taylor, District Attorney Randall Houston, and FBI Special Agent in Charge James Jewell. Moore entered his guilty plea in August.
The investigation began in January when Alabama law enforcement officials received complaints regarding a Facebook video posting depicting a child performing oral sex on an adult male. Working with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and Facebook developed more investigative leads, ALEA investigators determined the video had a strong connection to the Montgomery area. The video went viral worldwide, authorities said, and leads began pouring in from around the state of Alabama, the United States and other countries. ALEA’s Internet Crimes Against Children received a lead from the Detroit Police Department’s Sex Crimes Unit. Investigators were able to first identify the little girl after she was recognized from the viral video and then interviewed her.
Her statement, along with other evidence collected in the investigation, led to Detroit police being able to secure the warrants against Moore. Eventually investigators interviewed three minor victims who disclosed that Moore had sexually abused them and produced videos of the sexual abuse.
On Feb. 5, State Bureau of Investigation agents carried out search warrants on Moore’s Millbrook home. There, they found more child pornography images on various devices found in Moore’s home and later in an apartment that he had access to in Prattville. In all, Moore had about 190 child pornography videos on an SD card, and 231 child pornography images on an IBM hard drive.
Other agencies taking part in the investigation included the U.S. Marshals Service, Michigan State Police, Detroit Police Department, Millbrook Police Department, Prattville Police Department, Tallapoosa County Sheriff’s Office, Alexander City Police Department, and Montgomery Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Hollie Worley Reed of the Middle District of Alabama.
The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, 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.
There is no parole in the federal prison system. Upon completion of 600 months in prison, Moore will be subject to supervision for the rest of his life.
“Moore’s crimes are revolting and despicable,” Franklin said in a prepared statement. “When predators exploit children, they rob them of their innocence and their well-being. No child should have to endure what Moore’s victims went through.”
“We hope this sentence sends a warning to anyone that sexually assaults or exploits a child that we will not sit by and allow it to happen,’’ he said. “People in our community want to protect children, and they will help law enforcement find predators and put them away for a long time.”
Taylor lauded the multi-agency investigation, but also the help from the public. “Without a tip,” he said, “we may never have discovered Moore’s predatory crimes or taken him into custody within a matter of days.”
19th Judicial Circuit District Attorney Randall Houston called the U.S. Attorney’s Office and ALEA “the real heroes” in the case. “Their relentless pursuit of justice is truly inspiring,’’ Houston said. “I am extremely proud of the joint effort by everyone to go above and beyond to make sure this predator won’t ever have access to another child.”