Chris Horton charged with exploiting children

11:03 PM, Feb 15, 2013   |    comments
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BELLEVILLE, Ill. (KSDK) - A Belleville martial arts instructor has been charged after recording himself engaged in sexual activity with two minors.

Christopher M. Horton, 20, of Highland, Illinois, is charged with two federal counts of sexual exploitation of a child.

"The facts alleged in the criminal complaint are shocking and horrific. I will use all of my resources to ensure that these charges are proven beyond a reasonable doubt so that this person is placed where he can never prey upon our children again," said United States Attorney Stephen Wigginton.

Horton also faces state charges including seven counts of predatory criminal sexual assault, and one count of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

He is being held without bond on the federal charges and a $5 million bond for the state charges.

If convicted, Horton could face up to 30 years in prison for each count and a fine up to $250,000.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.


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