Discovery Made by Observant Citizen Helped put Child Sex Predator Behind Bars for 14 Years
Phoenix, AZ (Tuesday, August 20, 2013) – Attorney General Tom Horne is today announcing that on Friday, August 16, 2013, Brian Fortner, age 28 of Peoria, AZ, was sentenced to 14 years in the Arizona Department of Corrections for Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, a Class 2 Felony and Dangerous Crime Against Children.
After a man found a duffel bag outside of his home in Peoria, AZ., he opened it and discovered a wallet, cassette tapes, and images depicting children in sexually exploitive actions. While waiting for the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) to arrive, the homeowner noticed a vehicle driving back and forth on the street. On a hunch, he wrote down the license plate number and provided it, along with the duffle bag, to the responding officers. An MCSO detective was assigned to the investigation and reviewed the contents of the duffel bag, noticing the wallet contained a driver’s license for Brian Fortner. The detective then ran the license plate provided by the homeowner and learned the vehicle was registered to Fortner.
Detectives searched the contents of the duffel bag further and found methamphetamine, approximately 100 printed child pornography images and 15 8mm videos containing hours of footage of young girls in cheer competitions, gymnastics, and fashion shows from social networking sites such as YouTube. Images obtained from the pictures and videos were taken to a pediatrician who conducted a “Sexual Maturity Rating” on the images and determined that the girls were less than 13-years-old.
On August 15, 2012, a search warrant was obtained and executed for the residence of Brian Fortner who was not home at the beginning of the search, but drove up as it was taking place. The defendant was read his Miranda Rights and after initially denying ownership of the duffle bag, finally confessed the items were his. The defendant said that 12- and 13-year-old girls were what he was interested in, but had seen younger girls than that. After the defendant admitted he possessed child pornography, he was placed under arrest.
In addition to the 14-year prison term, Fortner has to register as a sex offender upon the completion of his sentence.
Attached is the indictment, photos of the dumpster where bag was found, contents of the duffel bag, and the booking photo of Brian Fortner.