Ex-coach pleads guilty in online child porn case

  • Follow Metro

ROME, Ga. - A former tennis coach who produced videos of himself sexually abusing a young girl - sometimes hiding behind a Mardi Gras-style mask - pleaded guilty Tuesday to being the man behind what prosecutors called one of the most popular child porn series in the world.

James "Bart" Huskey was accused of sexually assaulting a minor and posting progressively violent photos and videos of him and the girl - which authorities have dubbed the "Tara" series - on heavily guarded Internet sites.

The 38-year-old could face up to 70 years in prison and a $750,000 fine after pleading guilty to producing, receiving and distributing child pornography. Local authorities can still charge Huskey with rape and sexual assault charges in the case, but have yet to decide whether to do so.

The guilty plea marked the end of a two-year investigation that began in Australia and ultimately helped crack what authorities say was a sophisticated child pornography ring that protected members using encrypted Web sites and timed tests meant to verify users' knowledge of child pornography.

Federal authorities began investigating the ring after Australian police alerted them to an investigation in child pornography traders. The FBI agents soon found disturbing videos of a girl as young as six years old being sexually assaulted.

The man in the postings grew more aggressive over time, and the last one, dated November 2007, showed the man holding a large knife toward the girl's body. But authorities struggled to identify the man because his face was often blurred and he sometimes wore a Mardi Gras-style mask.

The group also zealously guarded its members, said federal prosecutor Francey Hakes. It was a "sophisticated and extremely organized" group that required prospective members to pass a timed test and banned them from chatting and phoning other members so they couldn't identify each other in case one was caught, she said.

Hakes said the group also had its own bank account and appeared to have ordered child pornography from outside producers, distributing the material as far away as Canada, England and Germany.

The investigation turned when authorities were able to track down Huskey's location by identifying footage shot from the interior of his car, said Hakes. Prosecutors say footage from other scenes, including scenes shot in a hotel, also helped them locate him.

Federal authorities said there is pending prosecution against others in the ring, but declined to give details.

Huskey, a former private tennis coach in the north Georgia city of LaFayette, stood silently with his eyes downcast throughout the plea. Two of his relatives accompanied him to the courtroom, and both refused comment.

Prosecutors said the girl, who is now 9, is safe and that she has been referred to programs that provide therapy for victims of child sexual abuse. But authorities say the damage that has been done to the girl is incalculable.

"The guilty plea today of Mr. Huskey helps bring this tragic and twisted crime closer to a close," FBI Atlanta Special Agent Greg Jones said. "The rehabilitation and recovery of Mr. Huskey's juvenile victim is, however, just beginning."

Comments (7) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
Bing0
14
Points
Bing0 11/26/08 - 04:12 am
0
0
This is the most horrific and

This is the most horrific and disturbiing news story I have read in my entire life. I am ashamed and embarassed for the United States and Georgia. This man is more evil than a serial killer.

Just My Opinion
5714
Points
Just My Opinion 11/26/08 - 05:43 am
0
0
What type of evil could

What type of evil could possibly twist a man's mind to find attraction in a child?? And then to act on it and promote it like these sick men have done? It has to be driven by Satan, there's no way to deny that. Thank God for the people who were able to track this monster down and hopefully the man will turn in the others! God bless that little girl!

Nammy
2
Points
Nammy 11/26/08 - 06:08 am
0
0
And that is NEVER going to

And that is NEVER going to end...(the last sentence)

christian134
1
Points
christian134 11/26/08 - 08:55 am
0
0
Shackle this monster as well

Shackle this monster as well as all those who viewed them in the middle of town square where they will be in plain view of all who would like to have a word with these evil beings...Then round them all up and put them in the middle of the worst shark infested waters on an island and leave them there to do whatever they please to each other...I have no use for these demons in human form...God help those babies all these monsters have used...I pray for their eventual peace and happiness...

GuyIncognito
1
Points
GuyIncognito 11/26/08 - 09:24 am
0
0
Good job. These guys have a

Good job. These guys have a hard job, can you imagine how awful it would be to have to study these horrible photos to catch these guys and stop them from harming the children. I'm amazed by their restraint when they catch these guys. A lot of people wouldn't be able to arrest them and safely bring them into jail... I think most people would rather mete out their own form of justice.

getalife
4
Points
getalife 11/26/08 - 09:39 am
0
0
This story makes me think of

This story makes me think of the movie "Dirty Harry" and how they dealt with criminals. These sexual predators need to be locked up forever or given the death sentence. They should never be released back into the general population. They can never be rehabilitated. This entire group of people need to be hunted down and locked up.

ListenAndLearn
0
Points
ListenAndLearn 11/26/08 - 04:34 pm
0
0
Let mothers of these children

Let mothers of these children take a turn at the sob's. They would beg for death quickly.

Back to Top

Top headlines

SRS shipments halted until 2016

Savannah River Site can't resume shipments of Cold War nuclear waste materials to an underground repository in New Mexico until at least 2016 when the federal government reopens the facility to ...
Search Augusta jobs