(BIVN) – A 27-year-old man from the Captain Cook area of Kona on Hawaiʻi island has been indicted by a Portland grand jury for traveling to Oregon to allegedly sexually abusing two children and sharing video of the abuse online, according to federal prosecutors.
From the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Oregon on March 7th:
A federal grand jury in Portland returned an indictment today charging a Hawaii man with sexually abusing two children and sharing video recordings of the abuse with others online.
Benjamin Victor Houghton, 27, of Captain Cook, Hawaii, has been charged with three counts of using a minor to produce a visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct and two counts of aggravated sexual abuse.
According to the indictment, Houghton is accused of sexually abusing two children under the age of 12 on three separate occasions, video recording the abuse, and sharing videos of the abuse online. On two of the three occasions, Houghton is also alleged to have knowingly crossed state lines, into Oregon, for the purpose of abusing the children.
On February 24, 2023, Houghton was arrested in the District of Hawaii and made his first appearance in federal court in Honolulu. He was ordered detained pending transfer to the District of Oregon.
Using a minor to produce a visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct is punishable by up to 30 years in federal prison with a 15-year mandatory minimum sentence. Aggravated sexual abuse is punishable by up to life in federal prison with a 30-year mandatory minimum sentence.
This case was investigated jointly by the FBI Portland and Honolulu Field Offices and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Portland. It is being prosecuted by William M. McLaren, Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Oregon.
An indictment is only an accusation of a crime, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Anyone who has information about the physical or online exploitation of children are encouraged to call the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324) or submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov.
The FBI CETF conducts sexual exploitation investigations, many of them undercover, in coordination with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. CETF is committed to locating and arresting those who prey on children as well as recovering and assisting victims of sex trafficking and child exploitation.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Justice Department to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit justice.gov/psc.