Former North Texas youth minister sentenced to serve 60 years in federal prison for producing child pornography
WICHITA FALLS, Texas — A former North Texas youth minister was sentenced Monday to 60 years in federal prison following his guilty plea in September 2015 to two counts of producing child pornography.
This sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas. This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Ryan Anthony Winner, 34, of Olney, Texas, has been in custody since his arrest in July 2015 on a related federal complaint.
According to documents filed in the case, the investigation began when law enforcement learned that an individual, later identified as Winner, had created albums containing images of a boy on a website that is used by persons interested in exchanging child pornography in order to meet and become child pornography trading partners.
On July 16, 2015, law enforcement executed a search warrant at two residences in Olney – one belonged to Winner and the other to his father. Law enforcement seized Winner’s laptop and identified several files depicting a nude, prepubescent minor male victim. Winner admitted he had taken the boy on a camping trip where he and the boy had gone “skinny dipping.” A forensic analysis of the laptop revealed another file, a still image of the same minor victim engaged in sexually explicit conduct with an adult male. That image appears to have been taken at the church where Winner worked as a youth minister.
Winner admitted that in late May 2015, he used a laptop computer to produce a video of a boy whom he had enticed to engage in sexually explicit conduct. He also admitted that in August 2014 he used a laptop computer and a digital camera to produce a visual depiction of the same boy engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
Assistant U.S. Attorney A. Saleem, Northern District of Texas, prosecuted this case.
This investigation was conducted under HSI’s Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators. Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 14,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child pornography, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children.
In fiscal year 2015, nearly 2,400 individuals were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative and more than 1,000 victims identified or rescued.
HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. From outside the U.S. and Canada, callers should dial 802-872-6199. Hearing impaired users can call TTY 802-872-6196.
Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST.