A Grand Jury in the Northern District of Oklahoma has charged a former dependent of an United States Armed Forces member with two counts of receipt and distribution of an obscene visual presentation of sexual abuse of a minor child under the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act (MEJA), announced Acting U.S. Attorney Clinton J. Johnson.
On Thursday, June 24, 2021, Derek Ray Flaming, 35, of Salina, Oklahoma, appeared for his initial appearance in the Northern District of Oklahoma on two counts of Receipt and Distribution of an Obscene Visual Representation of Sexual Abuse of Children in violation of 18 U.S.C. Sections 1466A(a)(1) and 3261(a)(1).
“My office is committed to protecting minor children from all manner of alleged abuse, neglect, and exploitation,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Clinton J. Johnson. “Derek Flaming has been charged with knowingly receiving and distributing an obscene picture of a minor child engaging in sexually explicit conduct while residing in South Korea with a member of the United States Armed Forces.”
According to the indictment, during 2016 and 2017, Flaming was the dependent of an United States Armed Forces member stationed at United State Army Garrison (USAG) – Youngsan, within the Republic of Korea. During this time, Flaming received and later distributed an image depicting a minor child engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
MEJA gives U.S. courts jurisdiction to prosecute crimes committed outside the United States by, among others, dependents of United States Armed Forces Dependents residing with members of the armed forces stationed outside the United States.
This case is brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section of the U.S. Department of Justice, 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 http://www.justice.gov/psc.
An indictment is a charging instrument alleging violation of the law. Defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
The case was investigated by the Army Criminal Investigative Command, the CEOS High Technology Investigative Unit, U.S. Marshals’ Northern Oklahoma Violent Crime Task Force and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations. The case is being prosecuted by CEOS Trial Attorney Ralph Paradiso and Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron Jolly of the Northern District of Oklahoma.
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