Gainesville man sentenced for child porn

Jail cell bars

The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that a Gainesville man was sentenced this week to 20 years in federal prison for production of child pornography. 

Howard Louis Anderson, Jr., 40, entered a guilty plea in March, according to a DOJ press release. In 2019, Anderson placed a hidden camera in the bathroom of his residence and, on numerous occasions, he created lascivious video recordings of a minor child using the bathroom.

In August 2019, a search warrant was executed at Anderson’s residence and the videos and several hidden cameras were recovered. The victim was identified after investigators reviewed the recordings.

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“The abuse committed by this child predator has come to an end as a result of the vigilant efforts of our law enforcement partners,” said James Coody, acting U.S. attorney for the North District of Florida. “Moreover, the sentence imposed acknowledges the heinous conduct and should serve as a significant deterrent to those that would attempt to prey upon our most vulnerable.”

Howard Louis Anderson of Gainesville

Anderson’s prison sentence will be followed by a lifetime of supervised release, according to the DOJ release. He will also be required to register as a sex offender and will be subject to all sex offender conditions.

“This sentence sends a strong message to those who engage in criminal activity and abuse the trust of innocent children,” said Rachel L. Rojas, special agent in charge of the FBI Jacksonville Division. “I am proud of the diligent work of our agents and our law enforcement partners to identify and investigate sexual perpetrators and bring them to justice.”

The DOJ release said the investigation was the result of collaboration between a group of law enforcement agencies, including the Gainesville Police Department, North Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Assistant United States Attorney Frank Williams prosecuted the case. In a statement provided to Mainstreet Daily News he said the tactics Anderson used to generate material are on the rise. 

“Child predators are relentless in their pursuit of new methods and techniques for creating images of child pornography,” he said. “Hidden video surveillance cameras in bathrooms used by children is just one such technique.”

Williams said predators have used hidden to capture images of both children and adults in many public facilities. 

“These cameras are hard to detect and the lens can be as small as a pen head,” he said. “They can be placed on counter tops, tiny holes in the wall, or perhaps most commonly in overhead vents. It’s important for us to remain vigilant in protecting our children by understanding how technology can be used for illicit purposes.”

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with comments from Frank Williams.

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