The following press release was issued by the U.S> Attorney's Office of the Middle District of Florida on Thursday, May 25, 2023.
Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Virginia M. Hernandez Covington has sentenced Brooke Sparks (38, St. Petersburg) to 40 years in federal prison for producing child sex abuse material. The court also ordered Sparks to serve 15 years of supervised release after her prison term and to register as a sex offender for life. Sparks had pleaded guilty on January 30, 2023.
According to court documents, in April 2021, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) received a tip from the Australian Federal Police and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that Sparks was sharing child sexual abuse material via Facebook. A federal search warrant was executed on Sparks’s home on April 28, 2021, and investigators discovered text messages between Sparks and an Australian man discussing sexually abusing a three-year-old child. Sparks’s cellphone also revealed that Sparks had produced videos of child sexual abuse material of a nine-year-old child and shared them with the Australian man. The investigation further revealed that Sparks had used multiple platforms to send and receive images and videos of child sexual abuse material.
“The internet and social media have made it easier for predators to exploit children and disseminate their abuse around the world,” said Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Tampa Assistant Special Agent in Charge Kristopher Pagitt. “Thanks to the support of the Australian Federal Police and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, we were able to stop her from continuing to create and share child sexual abuse material.”
This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Tampa, with substantial assistance from St. Petersburg Police Department and the Australian Federal Police. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Erin Claire Favorit.
This is another case 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 the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.