A 22-year-old Cartersville man was sentenced to 30 years in prison Thursday for child pornography and forcing minors to engage in sex acts.
Joshua James Geer was convicted of child pornography production, coercion of minors to engage in unlawful sex acts and possession of child pornography, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
“This defendant coerced children into engaging in sexual activity and forced them to send him photos of that activity,” United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said. “He is the type of predatory monster parents fear when their children are on the internet. He deserves every day of the sentence the court imposed.”
Investigators said Geer contacted a 17-year-old boy living in Illinois, through an on-line communication service in February 2013 and befriended him during their online chats. But then Geer forced the teen to use his cellular phone to take photographs of himself and his 11-year-old sister engaged in graphic sex acts, prosecutors said.
Geer threatened to expose the teen to others if the boy refused to send the images to Geer. Investigators were able to identify Geer through the chats, which revealed Geer’s telephone number, officials said. Several months later, on June 20, the sheriff’s office in Pinellas County, Fla., received a complaint from a 16-year-old girl who said she began chatting on line with a person who initially identified himself as a girl using the online profile “TNT," according to federal prosecutors.
During their online exchanges, Geer sent a partially nude photograph of a girl who appeared to be about 4-years-old and the teen attempted to end her online chats with Geer, officials said. But he text her, claiming she was in possession of child pornography and forced her to send him nude photographs of herself while posed in various positions, the prosecutors said.
Investigators said they were able to identify Geer as the person corresponding with the teen by using an internet account, as well as his cellular telephone number. FBI agents in Atlanta learned that Geer had used the same telephone number to contact and demand pornographic images from the boy in Illinois, officials said.
On June 20, FBI agents obtained an arrest warrant for Geer, as well as a warrant to search his home, prosecutors said. At that point they seized an iPhone that contained more than 300 images of child pornography, including graphic images depicting infants, they said.
Federal agents also discovered more cases of Geer coercing minors to produce child pornography that he made the victims send him via the Internet, and that he distributed to others online, prosecutors said.
During a search of Geer’s closet, federal agents also found a handwritten note detailing how to commit a rape, along with various items bearing the description, “kidnapping kit,” prosecutors said.