Attorney General Mark Brnovich Discusses Prosecution of Child Pornographer and Efforts to Combat Internet Crimes Against Children

Phoenix, AZ - The Arizona Office of The Attorney General prosecuted a perpetrator who was sharing 644 child pornography files. This is the first of many convictions of those who commit crimes against children, as Attorney General Mark Brnovich is teaming up with legislators and law enforcement to crack down on crimes against children with the Arizona Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC).

On March 25, 2014, The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) executed a search warrant at a possible location of suspect Donald Turk. On April 3, 2014, a second search warrant was executed at Turk's home. A forensic examination of Turk's computer located child pornography. The defendant spoke with MCSO and confirmed that he was downloading child pornography by accessing his neighbor's wireless router so that he would not get caught. Turk admitted to being attracted to girls between the ages of 14 and 18 and that a lot of the images he possessed were of younger girls because that was what he was able to find and download. He also admitted to masturbating to the images.

On January 7, 2015, Turk was sentenced to 12 years in the Arizona Department of Corrections and was placed on lifetime probation with sex terms and computer usage terms. The defendant will have to register as a sex offender upon his release.

Attorney General Mark Brnovich and Representative Paul Boyer have joined forces to catch as many perpetrators like Donald Turk as possible. Rep. Boyer is introducing legislation that would give the Attorney General’s Office the authority to disperse $4.5 Million dollars to ICAC annually.

“Children can’t protect themselves,” Brnovich said. “This is where we need to be.”

ICAC rescued 70 victims of sexual abuse and child pornography in 2014. The unit is staffed with four highly trained investigators who can each work on 25-30 cases annually. Rep. Boyer’s bill requests 15 full-time investigators and three forensic examiners. Additionally, $500,000 would be set aside for a victims’ fund.

“We are prosecuting the perpetrators and saving children who are being exploited,” Brnovich added. “We want those affected to know that they have our support and the resources to help them recover.”

According to ICAC, 70 percent of child pornography victims are prepubescent and 7 percent are infants. Boyer added an emergency clause to get the money in the right hands so that abuse to more victims can immediately be put to an end. Both the majority and minority leaders in the House have signed on.

“Do the math on how many child victims there are in Arizona and you will have as hard of a time sleeping at night as I do,” said Boyer. “There is no reason why we should allow a single lead to go uninvestigated or allow another perpetrator to harm any more children.”

The Office of the Arizona Attorney General is currently investigating the digital distribution of child pornography with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office and the Department of Homeland Security.