Florida man sentenced to 80 years for sexually abusing two children

Project Safe Childhood is a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice.

Harlon David Prater was sentenced on Friday, November 20 to 80 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to two counts of producing images depicting the sexual abuse of children and one count of transporting images of sexual abuse of a child in January of this year.


He faced a minimum possible sentence of 15 years and the maximum of 80 years and a potential life term of supervised release. 


U.S. District Judge Timothy J. Corrigan saw fit to sentence 28-year-old Prater to the maximum possible sentence, a life term of supervised release, and to pay an undisclosed amount of restitution.


The investigation launched after a tip was forwarded to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.  


Detectives with the sheriff's office executed a search warrant for Prater's residence where, during an interview, the Department of Justice release indicates that he "admitted to using his cellphone to produce images of babies being sexually abused." 


A forensic examination of his cellphone revealed over 900 images and 50 videos of children being sexually abused.  Some of that included evidence of his own abuse of two children, an 18-month-old and one identified only as "an infant."


"These heinous crimes against children must come to an end," Homeland Security Investigations Jacksonville Assistant Special Agent in Charge K. Jim Phillips said. "The sentencing in this case represents how committed HSI and our partners are about removing dangerous predators from our streets."


This matter was investigated by the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office in partnership with Homeland Security Investigations.  It was prosecuted as a part of Project Safe Childhood by the Assistant United States Attorney Kelly S. Karase.