Sex offender sentenced for involvement in child pornography featuring young children, bondage and acts of violence
HOUSTON – A 39-year-old Houston man has been ordered to federal prison after admitting he received and possessed child pornography, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.
Leon Travis Beard pleaded guilty Dec. 21, 2020.
Today, U.S. District Judge Kenneth Hoyt sentenced Beard to a total of 200 months of imprisonment. The court considered victim impact statements and took into account Beard’s future access to child pornography, noting whether Beard’s desire would be stronger than his will. Beard will also serve the rest of his life on supervised release following completion of his prison term, during which time he will have to comply with numerous requirements designed to restrict his access to children and the internet. He will also be ordered to register as a sex offender and will to pay restitution to the victims.
In February 2019, law enforcement initiated an investigation of child pornography sharing which led them to Beard. He was found to be a member, and a facilitator, of multiple child pornography groups. These people engaged in the distribution of thousands of images and videos. A subsequent forensic analysis resulted in the discovery of approximately 304 videos and 1,008 images of child pornography, including of children under the age of five, bondage and acts of violence.
Beard was distributing, receiving and possessing child pornography less than a year after his release from state prison for possession of child pornography.
He has been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
The FBI conducted the investigation.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Zahra Jivani Fenelon is prosecuting the case, which was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC), a nationwide initiative the Department of Justice (DOJ) launched in May 2006 to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. U.S. Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section leads PSC, which marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children and identifies and rescues victims. For more information about PSC, please visit DOJ’s PSC page. For more information about internet safety education, please visit the resources link on that page.
Department of Justice
Office of the U.S. Attorney
Southern District of Texas