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Sex Offender Charged with New Child Porn Crimes

Carpinteria Resident Christopher Coates Now Faces Life in Prison


Registered sex offender Christopher Coates, 41, was charged last week with making and receiving child pornography via Kik Messenger, an anonymous texting app, shortly after serving prison time for prior child pornography convictions. Coates pleaded not guilty Thursday in Los Angeles district court to 9 felonies named in the federal indictment, for which he may be sentenced to life in prison without parole, said a Department of Justice press release.

Christopher Coates
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SBCSO

Christopher Coates

Coates, a Carpinteria resident, was convicted in 2013 and 2011 of possessing child pornography, and in 2010 was sentenced to 270 days in County Jail and three years probation for sexually assaulting a seriously disabled female adult at a caretaking facility where he worked. In July 2015, during a parole search of Coates’s home, authorities discovered a Samsung tablet hidden under a mattress, which “contained hundreds of images and videos of child pornography,” said the DOJ release.

Acting on a tip from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, the Postal Inspection Service and F.B.I. charged Coates with two counts of using Kik “to entice two minor boys to engage in sexually explicit conduct last year,” as well as two counts of receiving child pornography, according to the DOJ. Court filings charge Coates with three counts of distributing child pornography through Kik and one count of possessing child pornography involving a child younger than 12. The Santa Barbara County’s Sheriff’s Office and District Attorney’s Office helped investigate the crimes.

“As this case unfortunately illustrates, child pornography is not a victimless crime; on the contrary, it victimizes the most vulnerable among us,” said U.S. Attorney Eillen Decker in a prepared statement.

U.S. Postal Inspectors have investigated these crimes for more than a century. While the predators’ use of sophisticated technology has evolved, the core harm has not changed: a child’s lost innocence,” said Inspector in Charge for the L.A. postal division Robert Wemyss. “We will not lose sight of this, and remain steadfast in our efforts to investigate, apprehend, and assist in the prosecution of those who seek to exploit children via the U.S. Mail.”

The case will proceed May 24 in Judge George Wu’s courtroom.



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