John David Yoder, 49, of Desert Hot Springs, California, previously pleaded guilty to one count of child exploitation enterprise and one count of conspiracy to distribute child pornography. In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Judge Jennifer A. Dorsey sentenced Yoder to a lifetime term of supervised release.
According to court documents, in the spring of 2014, Yoder met co-defendants William Clyde Thompson, Eric Monsivais, and Noland Harper on a website dedicated to pedophilia. Thompson, Monsivais, and Harper conspired to contact at least six children at a skate park in Desert Hot Springs, for the purpose of sexually exploiting them. During the course of the conspiracy, Yoder provided obscene material to further the conspiracy. Thompson, Harper, and Monsivais used some of the children, including Yoder’s child, to recruit others to be part of a “team” Thompson claimed he wanted to sponsor, but with the intention of exploiting them. Yoder rented a house in Desert Hot Springs for the production of child pornography.
Over the course of six months, Thompson produced more than 20,000 images and videos depicting children. Yoder and his co-defendants conspired to exploit the children, produce child pornography, and distribute it. The defendants would distribute the child pornography via paid websites.
In February 2016, Yoder was convicted in Riverside, California, of four counts of lewd acts of a child under 14, two counts each of human trafficking of a child and procuring a child for sex, one count of conspiracy to commit child pornography, and one count of harboring a fugitive.
Co-defendant Thompson, 58, was sentenced to 29 years in prison and placed on a lifetime term of supervised release after pleading guilty to child exploitation enterprise, sexual exploitation of a child, conspiracy to produce child pornography, distribution of child pornography, conspiracy to distribute child pornography, and possession of child pornography.
The case was investigated by the FBI and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher Burton and Elham Roohani prosecuted the case.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood and for information about internet safety education, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.