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Child Exploitation Initiative Going Strong After 1 Year

Operation Community Watch is now one-year-old, and officials are saying the all the hard work has paid off. Fifty-two defendants have been prosecuted since the start of the program, including Terre Haute native Emery Norton.
A Terre Haute man accused of child exploitation learned his fate Tuesday morning.

We were on the scene earlier this year when Emery Norton was taken into custody.

On Tuesday, a federal judge sentenced him to serve the next 11 years and three month behind bars.
   
It's all part of an initiative to keep children across the globe safe.

"Child victims have been identified and they have been rescued and that at the end of the day is what this effort is all about," said U.S. Attorney Joseph Hogsett.

Operation Community Watch is now one-year-old, and officials are saying the all the hard work has paid off.

"It is extraordinarily satisfying when we know that we have made a substantial difference in the protection and well-being of  the children of our communities," said Hogsett.

Fifty-two defendants have been prosecuted since the start of the program, including Terre Haute native Emery Norton.
   
Using a mobile lab back in March, police recovered thousands of explicit images and videos from his home and computer.

"Those people need to be identified and prosecuted and taken out of our neighborhoods so that the kids in that neighborhood are not put if any more at risk than they already may be."

Tools like the Indiana State Police Mobile Forensics Vehicle let officers immediately question suspects and look through potential evidence, helping initiatives like this do even more.

"Use state-of-the-art and cutting-edge techniques to identify and charge people throughout Indiana and Hoosier communities and neighborhoods."

120 child victims have been rescued across the globe thanks to Operation Community Watch.

And officials say even with all the arrests and convictions, that's the number that really counts.
   
"We want to make sure that severely earliest stage of anyone's predilections toward this type of activity, that we stop it, and in so doing protect the safety of the children around them."

In addition to Emery Norton's prison time, he will also have to pay $3,000 to three victims each who were identified in the materials police recovered.
   
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