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Former Vermilion Parish teacher sentenced 70 years in prison for creating, possessing child porn

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James Harber James Harber
VERMILION PARISH, La. -

A former Vermilion Parish middle school teacher was sentenced to 70 years in prison for making and possessing child pornography, according to United States Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook.

James Stacey Harber, 33, of Abbeville, previously of Ohio, was sentenced Friday by U.S. District Judge Dee D. Drell on three counts of production of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. He was also sentenced to a lifetime of supervised release and is required to register as a sex offender.

According to the August 18, 2017, guilty plea, Harber began communicating with a woman in Abbeville while he was living in Ohio in 2010. Investigators say Harber and the woman began having a sexual relationship online and communicating via online video. The woman later included her three minor children in the online sexual relationship. Harber moved to Abbeville in 2013 and gained employment at the Louisiana Office of Child Services and then as a middle school teacher, according to Van Hook. He sexually abused the woman's children after moving to Louisiana in addition to recording sexually explicit images of them. Law enforcement agents searched Harber's home on April 26, 2016, and found numerous images and videos of child pornography on various electronic media, which included images downloaded from the internet as well as images he recorded himself sexually exploiting the children. 

"These types of horrific cases must not be allowed to continue," said Van Hook. "It is vital that the public and people in the community help to bring these cases to light as happened in this case. This 70-year sentence shows our resolve to prosecute and convict to the fullest extent of the law." 

This case is part of Project Safe Childhood, a U.S. Department of Justice nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.  Led by U.S. Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood combines 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, visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.           

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