By KURT EICHENWALD
The New York Times
January 29, 2006
A Virginia man arrested in a national investigation of child
pornography on the Internet pleaded guilty to multiple charges
involving the sexual exploitation of boys and the operation of illegal
Web sites, the Justice Department said Friday.
The man, Gregory J. Mitchel, 38, was an administrator of several
illegal Web sites and admitted in his plea to producing and
distributing child pornography through the Internet. In that role, the
Justice Department said, Mr. Mitchel filmed boys engaging in sex acts
and received money from Web site subscribers who paid monthly fees for
viewing live and recorded videos.
Mr. Mitchel was arrested after being implicated by Justin Berry, a
19-year-old who was featured in a December article in The New York
Times about teenagers who operate for-pay pornography sites that show
images of themselves transmitted by Webcams. Mr. Mitchel has since
begun naming other adult men who were actively involved in the sexual
exploitation of children, court records show.
Mr. Berry, who beginning at 13 was enticed by adults he met online
into performing sex acts in front of his Webcam, operated pornography
sites featuring his own image for five years. In discussions with a
Times reporter in July, Mr. Berry agreed to abandon his business and
tell law enforcement about adult men who he knew were sexually
exploiting and abusing children. Mr. Berry was granted immunity and is
now a federal witness.
In interviews with The Times and the government, Mr. Berry said Mr.
Mitchel had molested him over several years and had begun sexually
exploiting as many as six other children.