MACON, Ga. (WTXL) — A Valdosta man is facing the possibility of 60 years in prison after pleading guilty to two counts charging him with child pornography production.
According to Peter D. Leary, the Acting U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, 43-year-old Robert Abacan of Valdosta, Ga., pleaded guilty to two counts of production of child pornography before U.S. District Judge Hugh Lawson in Macon federal court on Friday.
Robert Abacan is facing a minimum of 15 years to a maximum of 30 years imprisonment for each count.
Co-defendant 43-year-old Frances Abacan, Robert Abacan's wife also of Valdosta, pleaded guilty to one count of production of child pornography before Judge Lawson on December 16, 2020.
Her sentencing has not yet been scheduled. There is no parole in the federal system.
“People who abuse and prey upon the most vulnerable among us, our children, will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” said Leary. “We are thankful for the strong partnership we have with the FBI and the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office as we all work relentlessly to protect the safety of children in the Middle District of Georgia.”
In 2018, the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office received information that ultimately revealed that Robert Abacan had sexually molested three minor victims. Some of this sexual abuse was recorded on video, and a copy was transported from the state of California to Valdosta.
“Our message to predators who prey on children is that the FBI and all of our federal, state and local law enforcement partners are committed and working hard together to bring them to justice by getting them the toughest penalties of the law,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “And this case is a great example, thanks to our relationship with the Lowndes County Sheriff Office and the U.S. Attorney's Office of the Middle District of Georgia.”
“This was a very well-coordinated law enforcement effort, and we especially appreciated the assistance of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and FBI. Unfortunately, we are seeing more and more of this type of crime against children. We appreciate the partnership from the federal level to keep predators off of the streets and away from our children,” said Lowndes County Sheriff Ashley Paulk.
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 www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
The case is being investigated by the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Katelyn Semales and Alex Kalim are prosecuting the case for the Government.