SAN FRANCISCO – A 25-year-old San Mateo man has been sentenced to more than 11 years in prison for convincing a 14-year-old girl to make and send sexually explicit images and videos to him, federal prosecutors said.
Adrian Kyle Benjamin pleaded guilty to receipt of child pornography on July 30, 2018.
In a plea agreement filed Friday, Benjamin admitted he began communicating with the victim in 2018 and enticed her “to engage in sexually explicit conduct and to send him visual depictions of her engaged in the conduct,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a news release.
Prosecutors said Benjamin received seven images and three videos from the victim.
Benjamin also admitted to similarly exploiting three other underage victims in 2018 and 2019. Prosecutors said he convinced a 13-year-old Australian girl to make and send three videos, a 15-year-old Texas girl to make and send four videos and 50 images, and a 17-year-old Canadian girl to make and send five videos and one image.
Benjamin joked that the Canadian girl was “old” because she was 17, according to a sentencing memorandum filed by prosecutors.
Prosecutors said Benjamin also admitted that he attempted to entice at least two other girls, who were between 14 and 15 years old. One lived in California and the other in Connecticut.
Benjamin’s attorney, James T. Reilly, requested in a sentencing memorandum that his client be sentenced to no more than 108 months in prison, the low end of the agreed-upon sentencing range.
“Based on the available information, it appears that Mr. Benjamin was a lonely, depressed, socially isolated, and probably mentally ill individual who was acting out sexual fantasies,” Reilly wrote.
“Not that this excuses his conduct … it does not,” he continued. “It does, however, put it into perspective with respect to the spectrum of child sexual abusers, placing him at the low end of that spectrum.”
Benjamin, in a letter of his own, said he was “willing to atone for the harm I may have caused.”
On Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Susan Illston sentenced Benjamin to 135 months in prison, as requested by prosecutors, as well as 10 years of supervised release.
The case against Benjamin was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in 2006 to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, prosecutors said.