RIVERSIDE, Calif. (WWJ/AP) - A Southern California federal judge has sentenced a Lapeer man to 25 years in prison for his role in an international child exploitation group.
Riverside Judge Virginia Phillips sentenced 34-year-old Joshua Boras on Monday. Boras, who is from Lapeer, pleaded guilty earlier to participating in a child exploitation enterprise and producing child pornography.
Prosecutors say Boras was affiliated with the “Lost Boy” online bulletin board — which, according to court documents and proceedings, was dedicated to men who have a sexual interest in young boys and was established to provide a forum to trade child pornography.
In addition to his participation in Lost Boy, Boras filmed his sexual abuse of a minor boy and distributed these images to some of the site’s members.
According to court documents, law enforcement discovered the Lost Boy bulletin board after receiving information from Eurojust, the judicial cooperation arm of the European Union. Eurojust provided U.S. law enforcement with leads obtained from Norwegian and Italian authorities indicating that a North Hollywood, Calif., man was communicating with an Italian national about child pornography and how to engage in child sex tourism in Romania.
Acting on the information from Europe, the FBI executed search warrants that led to the discovery of the Lost Boy network. Investigators say the group had 35 members in the United States, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
New members were required to post child porn to join the organization. According to court documents, Lost Boy members advised one another on techniques to evade detection by law enforcement, which included using screen names to mask identities and encrypting computer data.
The Internet site was shut down three years ago and 15 defendants have pleaded guilty or have been convicted at trial.
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