BOSTON – A Dorchester man was arrested yesterday for receiving and possessing child sexual abuse material (CSAM) obtained via Zoom chat rooms.
Beau Christopher Benson, 35, was charged with possession and receipt of child pornography. Following an initial appearance in federal court in Boston yesterday before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Donald L. Cabell, Benson was detained pending a detention hearing scheduled for 2 p.m. today.
According to the charging documents, in April 2023, law enforcement was notified that Benson allegedly participated in Zoom video chat rooms used to share and view CSAM. It is alleged that Benson recorded his participation in the chat rooms and saved the recordings – which featured videos of CSAM and conversations between Benson and others about the CSAM – to his social media account. It is alleged that approximately 15 video files depicting CSAM were found saved in his Dropbox. It is further alleged that a cybertip identified Benson as an online user who had uploaded two files containing CSAM to a Dropbox account. Specifically, the files allegedly depicted children who appear to be approximately two to four years old.
The charge of receipt of child pornography provides for a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and up to 20 years in federal prison, at least five years and up to a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. The charge of possession of child pornography provides for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, at least five years and up to a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.
Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy and Jodi Cohen, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney David G. Tobin of the Office’s Major Crimes Unit is prosecuting the case.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the DOJ’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit https://www.justice.gov/psc.
The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.