A paedophile has been jailed for 70 years for filming himself sexually abusing a baby girl and posting the footage online on the dark web.
James Lockhart, 31, of Florida, filmed himself raping the screaming one-year-old girl in four videos he posted online under aliases.
Homeland Security agents were forced to show the harrowing footage to the mother of the abused baby girl in order to identify the victim, local media have reported.
She was able to identify the victim as her daughter in the clips in which the baby’s stuffed animal toy was visible in the backround.
Lockhart’s abuse was uncovered after investigators raided his home as part of a wider child sexual abuse imagery investigation.
Court documents show that between March 2016 and February 2018, Lockhart produced a sexually violent four-video series of himself abusing the girl.
He then distributed the videos on a dark web forum.
In the clips he displayed signs bearing the dark web forum’s name, as well as his own online aliases, “in order to gain notoriety,” the US Department of Justice (DOJ) said.
He also created other abuse images and videos of the child, and bragged online about sexually abusing another one-year-old child.
Lockhart reportedly told users of the forum more videos would be produced and took suggestions, according to plea agreement documents, the Miami Herald reports.
A search warrant at his home uncovered devices containing 43 child sexual abuse vidoes, and at least 4,000 abuse images.
The collection included infants and sadomasochistic and violent content, according to the DOJ.
The investigation spanned continents, with Homeland Security and Australian Police assisting in the case.
Chief U.S. District Judge Steven D. Merryday last week sentenced Lockhart , of Bradenton, to the statutory maximum penalty of 70 years behind bars for producing, distributing, and possessing child sexual abuse imagery.
Lockhart had pleaded guilty to the crimes on March 26.
“This deviant committed the most horrible atrocities imaginable to a one-year-old child,” said Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Tampa assistant special agent in charge Michael B. Cochran.
“HSI’s national and international partnerships have helped ensure that this predator will never again harm a child.”