Shawn Ryan Budovic
ROME, Ga. – Shawn Ryan Budovic, who targeted very young children for sexual exploitation, was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment for the production of child pornography.
“The defendant used the internet to hunt and sexually exploit young children for his own sexual gratification,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak. “While Budovic will now serve a lengthy prison sentence for his crimes, this is also a reminder to parents of the dangers children may encounter on the internet, as well as an alert to tactics predators use to lure, manipulate and prey on their victims.”
“Individuals responsible for producing child pornography steal the innocence of children and further their revictimization each time the evidence of that exploitation is shared online,” said Homeland Security Investigations Atlanta Special Agent in Charge Nick S. Annan. “This case shows HSI investigators are actively working to identity and disrupt the trade of these illegal images, and also to identify and seek prosecution of the criminals who produce and possess them.”
According to U.S. Attorney Pak, the charges and other information presented in court: Budovic used the messenger application Kik to meet his former girlfriend when she was a minor and he was in his mid-twenties. Budovic began an online relationship with the minor, and over time he groomed her to believe that his sexual interest in children was normal. He discussed his sexual interest in young children with his girlfriend and sent her images of child pornography. Eventually, Budovic asked his minor girlfriend for sexually explicit photographs of her younger siblings, who were as young as two, four, and nine years old at the time. At Budovic’s urging, the minor girlfriend ultimately sent him multiple sexually explicit photos of her younger sisters. Homeland Security Investigations agents found pornographic photos of the children on Budovic’s phone when they executed a search warrant at his home.
Budovic’s obsession with child pornography did not stop with his minor girlfriend and her siblings. He also had a collection of hundreds of videos and images of pre-pubescent girls being sexually molested and raped. Budovic sought out girls as young as 12 years old on websites, such as Facebook and Skype, and engaged in sexually explicit chats with numerous minors. In multiple instances, he enticed young girls to send him sexually explicit images and videos of themselves over the internet. Budovic also shared images of his own genitals with the girls.
Shawn Ryan Budovic, 28, of Cartersville, Georgia was sentenced to 25 years in prison to be followed by lifetime supervised release. He will be required to register as a sex offender upon release. Budovic was convicted on these charges on May 1, 2018, after he pleaded guilty.
This case was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jolee Porter prosecuted the case.
This case is being brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. In February 2006, the Attorney General launched Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorney’s Offices around the country, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.