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Public Safety

Cedar Rapids man sentenced to 40 years for sexually exploiting 13-year-old girl

Also possessed child pornography

John Hunt
John Hunt

CEDAR RAPIDS — A Cedar Rapids man who sexually exploited a 13-year-old girl and possessed child pornography was sentenced to 40 years in federal prison last week.

John M. Hunt, 35, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court last October to one count of sexual exploitation of a child and one count of possession of child pornography. A plea agreement shows Hunt admitted to recording sexually explicit videos and photos of the girl from 2015 to 2017. He threatened to distribute those images to others.

Hunt also admitted to possessing child pornography, including depictions of prepubescent children from February 2017 to May of this year, according to the plea.

Cedar Rapids police investigator Tracy Johnson testified last year during a hearing that the 13-year-old victim, during an interview at St. Luke’s Child Protection Center, said Hunt also sexually abused her from 2015 through September 2017.

The girl said she sent videos or photos to Hunt, at his request, Johnson testified. They were taken with a cellphone Hunt gave to the girl, she told police.

Police said they also found email messages between the child and Hunt.

During that hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Tremmel said Hunt, in an email, threatened to post nude photos of the girl online if she told anyone about them.

Police said the girl knew Hunt through a relative.

Hunt’s voice, a tattoo on his hand and his face were identified on one or more of the videos involving the 13-year-old, police said.

The girl told police she reported the abuse now because she was concerned Hunt would make her sister his next victim.

U.S. District Judge C.J. Williams also sentenced Hunt five years of supervised release and ordered him to comply with all sex offender registry requirements.

This case was prosecuted by Tremmel and was investigated by the Cedar Rapids Police Department.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.

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