A sex offender who was cited as an example of an “epidemic” of sexual exploitation of children that’s being aided by the Internet has been sentenced to life in prison plus another 60 years. Jerry L. Banks Sr., 54, of Boise was sentenced this morning in federal district court for producing a pornographic video of a 2-year-old and sharing it on the Internet with a sex offender in Canada. For that, he got life in prison. The extra 60 years are for transporting child porn between Boise and a person in California “whom he thought was a 12-year-old girl,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s office, and possession of child porn. Since he already was a registered sex offender, the life sentence was mandatory. There’s no parole.
Banks’ current case – he’d already served more than 12 years in prison on previous child-molesting charges – began in mid-May 2005 when investigators in Edmonton, Alberta, arrested a Canadian citizen for child exploitation offenses. That resulted in an international probe that authorities said has now led to more than 60 arrests in Canada, the United States, Great Britain, Europe and Australia, and “more than 20 children being rescued from situations in which they were being sexually exploited.”
Banks' case was cited as an example of such crimes in Idaho last week as federal, state and local authorities launched "Operation Safe Childhood" to focus on two aims: educating parents and teens about Internet dangers, and increasing law enforcement cooperation in finding and prosecuting Internet predators and child pornographers.