Task force seeks other possible victims in Oregon, California
A man wanted by the FBI's Los Angles-based SAFE Team (Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement) was arrested earlier this week in Portland, Oregon, pending his transfer to Los Angeles. David Charles Leonard, 46, was indicted in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles on charges of possession of child pornography, J. Stephen Tidwell, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI in Los Angeles announced.
The investigation began in 1999 when the SAFE Team received a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's "Cybertip" line about Leonard's illegal activity as it related to the sexual exploitation of children. According to the reports, Leonard allegedly used the screen name "stigmataxy" and frequented the "Hollywood Café" chat room where he made lewd and suggestive comments to underage girls, according to the indictment. The reports further allege that Leonard may have flown underage girls to meet with him and to engage in sex.
David Charles Leonard – FBI photo
A thorough investigation into the "stigmataxy" screen name and Internet service provider records identified Leonard, a resident of Long Beach, California, as the subscriber. Further investigation into Leonard's alleged online activity revealed that he had established relationships with multiple minors and had provided to them either airline tickets or credit card numbers with which to purchase airline tickets. Leonard allegedly sent photographs of himself and child pornographic images to these minor victims and, in some cases, mailed expensive digital cameras in order that victims photograph themselves and send the images to Leonard's e-mail address.
According to court documents, Leonard reputedly discussed sexually explicit topics and did not hide the fact that he desired underage girls when visiting chat rooms.
Leonard's Long Beach residence was searched in 2002 when members of the SAFE Team found evidence of child pornography, as well as personal information linked to the minors he reportedly had been illegally corresponding with.
Leonard is currently charged with the possession of child pornography, however, the SAFE Team investigation is continuing.
Based on evidence obtained in the multi-year investigation, Agents and detectives believe Leonard has engaged in illicit sex with minors in California and Oregon, in areas including, but not necessarily limited to, Long Beach, California, San Jose, California and Portland, Oregon.
Anyone with information about Leonard's activity as it relates to the sexual exploitation of children is asked to contact their local FBI office or police department.
Leonard was afforded an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Portland, Oregon, on Thursday. Leonard was released on bond with restrictions imposed by the court. Leonard is required and scheduled to be back in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles on April 19th, 2007.