Recently published Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) inspector general (IG) reports show that at least 10 CIA employees or contractors have been suspected of sex crimes against children over a 14-year period, but only one of them has been prosecuted.
Buzzfeed News published the IG reports on Dec. 1, after a nearly 10-year fight with the CIA to obtain them. The heavily redacted reports include more than 3,000 records, 75 of them detailing investigations into alleged sex crimes against children from 2005 to 2019.
The cases ranged from child pornography being found on government laptops to an official sexually assaulting a 2-year-old female. The CIA often referred the incidents to U.S. attorneys, but prosecutors declined to press charges in all but one instance.
For example, the Eastern District of Virginia U.S. Attorney’s Office declined to move forward with the case against the person who had sexually assaulted a 2-year-old female because of “taint issues” with the evidence.
In that case, the CIA employee or contractor admitted in Nov. 2008 to having “inappropriate sexual contact with an 8-year-old female and an unnamed 2-year-old female.”
“Additionally, [REDACTED] admitted as having downloaded a movie containing child pornography while working [REDACTED] for the Agency,” the IG report reads, noting that investigators also found child pornography on the person’s computers.
The CIA fired the person and stripped their clearances, but the Eastern District of Virginia declined to prosecute “based on taint issues from the [REDACTED] information and the lack of previously identified child pornography victims in his videos.”
In another case, a CIA contractor was caught soliciting sex with a minor from an undercover FBI agent in an online chat room in February 2010. The FBI interviewed the contractor on April 16 to “discuss issues related to his behavior.” Law enforcement agents apparently executed a search warrant a day later, but found that the hard drive was missing from the contractor’s laptop.
“When questioned, [REDACTED] indicated that he had removed the hard drives and thrown them away [REDACTED],” the IG report reads.
The Eastern District of Virginia declined to prosecute the matter, and the District of Columbia Attorney’s Office has agreed to reopen the case in its district if any future physical evidence is found.
In a statement to Buzzfeed News, the Eastern District of Virginia stated that the suspects’ CIA connections had nothing to do with the decisions to not prosecute.
“The occupation or employer of the suspect does not factor into that evaluation,” the spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia said. “While we cannot comment on the reasons why specific cases were declined, we do take very seriously any allegation that our prosecutors declined a potential case based on an improper assessment of the relevant factors.”
By Ken Silva