New York City Police Officer Charged for Soliciting Children for Nudes on Twitter

NEW YORK, NY – A criminal complaint was filed today in federal court in Central Islip charging Carmine Simpson with the sexual exploitation of children.  The charges relate to sexually explicit images and videos of children that the defendant requested and received from minors who he targeted on Twitter.  Simpson was arrested today and will make his initial appearance via videoconference this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge A. Kathleen Tomlinson.

Seth D. DuCharme, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York and William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), announced the arrest and charge.

“Instead of protecting the community as a sworn police officer, the defendant has preyed upon and sexually exploited the most vulnerable members,” stated Acting United States Attorney DuCharme.  “The protection of innocent children is a priority for the Department of Justice and this Office will continue to make every effort to ensure that those who contribute to the victimization of children will be brought to justice.”  Mr. DuCharme extended his grateful appreciation to the FBI Violent Crimes Against Children Squad for its investigative work and the New York City Police Department (NYPD) for its assistance on the case.

“As a law enforcement officer, Mr. Simpson swore an oath to protect the public he served.  We allege he chose instead to manipulate some of our society’s most vulnerable citizens when he repeatedly enticed children to create sexually explicit videos and photos,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney.  “Much of this activity occurs through popular social media sites, so I’d ask parents and guardians to take some time to talk with your children about their online activities.  You are the first line of defense in protecting our youth from predators. A moment of your time can save a lifetime of trauma. If you believe someone is trying to entice or sexually exploit your child, please report it to us by calling 1-800-CALL-FBI or going to tips.fbi.gov.”

According to court filings, Simpson, a police officer with the NYPD, allegedly targeted vulnerable children on Twitter for the purpose of having them create sexually exploitative photos and videos of themselves for the defendant.  Simpson often represented to his victims that he was 17 years-old, and he sent them pictures of himself where he applied a filter to alter his own appearance so that he appeared younger.  Simpson communicated with at least 46 children who appear to have been between the ages of 13 and 17.  On Twitter alone, Simpson obtained at least 18 photographic images and 33 videos containing sexually exploitative material from children

If convicted of sexual exploitation of a child, Simpson faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years’ imprisonment.  The charges in the complaint are allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

This prosecution is 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 United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Department of Justice Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.  For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Long Island Criminal Division.  Assistant United States Attorney Megan E. Farrell is in charge of the prosecution.