Case # 13WF3027
Date: May 26, 2016
CHURCH LEADER SENTENCED TO 10 YEARS AND EIGHT MONTHS IN PRISON FOR SEXUALLY ASSAULTING AUTISTIC CHILD VICTIM AND PRODUCING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
*Court of Appeal, 4th DCA vacated life sentence conviction and remanded case back to trial court for resentencing
SANTA ANA, Calif. –A Huntington Beach church worship leader was sentenced today to 10 years and eight months in state prison for sexually assaulting an autistic boy and producing child pornography. The Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, Division Three (DCA) vacated the conviction of Jeffrey Adam Tracy, 39, and dismissed the conviction of two felony counts of oral copulation of a child 10 years old or younger and two felony counts of lewd acts upon a child under 14. The DCA ruled that the Orange County Superior Court vacate the previous sentence of 36 years to life and ordered the trial court to resentence the defendant. The DCA held that there wasn’t sufficient corroboration to prove the conduct the defendant confessed to on multiple occasions. The victim’s autism made him unable to report the crime.
Tracy was originally found guilty by a jury Oct. 16, 2014, of two felony counts of oral copulation of a child 10 years old or younger, four felony counts of lewd acts upon a child under 14, and one felony count of using a minor for sex acts. Tracy was originally sentenced to 36 years to life in state prison on Dec. 5, 2014.
The Honorable Michael J. Cassidy sentenced the defendant to the maximum allowable sentence given the ruling of the DCA, and the defendant was sentenced to 10 years and eight months in state prison.
“This was a vulnerable victim who could not speak for himself because of his special needs. The defendant is a dangerous predator who told the police in his confession that he chose the victim because the victim’s autism made him unable to communicate the crime,” said Chief of Staff Susan Kang Schroeder. “The defendant’s conduct in this case would be no different from babies and toddlers who are often targeted for abuse because they cannot speak for themselves. The Orange County District Attorney’s Office will continue fighting sexual predators who target those who cannot speak for themselves.”
Circumstances of the Case
In April 2013, U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and other members of the Orange County Child Exploitation Task Force (OCCETF) began investigating the defendant for uploading child pornography videos on the Internet using various file sharing programs. On Sept. 25, 2013, members of the OCCETF executed search warrants in connection with the case. Tracy was subsequently taken into custody Sept. 27, 2013.
During the investigation, HSI special agents discovered that between 2008 and 2012, Tracy sexually assaulted a minor male, John Doe, who suffers from autism. Tracy sexually assaulted John Doe by orally copulating the victim, committing lewd acts upon him, and videotaping some of the sex acts. Tracy then e-mailed the illegal child pornography videos of the sex acts with John Doe to various unknown individuals. John Doe was under 10 years old when the sexual assaults took place.
In addition to HSI, the OCCETF is comprised of investigators from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the United States Postal Inspection Service; and the Huntington Beach and Newport Beach police departments.
The victim’s mother and grandmother gave emotional impact statements to the Court today pursuant to Marsy’s Law and stated that the defendant got a break on what should have been a life sentence because he chose a victim who was not able to speak for himself.
Deputy District Attorney Bobby Taghavi of the Sexual Assault Unit prosecuted this case.