A U.S. man has been sentenced to 330 years in prison for crimes related to his travels overseas to sexually exploit children. For more than a decade, David Paul Lynch traveled to the Philippines to sexually abuse children. Lynch was convicted on multiple counts of producing and receiving child abuse imagery (commonly referred to as child pornography) and traveling with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct. A federal judge recently sentenced Lynch to 330 years in prison for these crimes.
FBI agents arrested Lynch in December 2016 as he attempted to board a flight from San Francisco to the Philippines. In October 2017 he was found guilty on charges related to exploiting children during trips he took to the Philippines between 2005 and 2016, according to a Department of Justice press release.
“He used an online messaging platform to send and receive pictures and to arrange travel,” Special Agent Daniel Ward said. Ward supervises the FBI’s Fort Myers Child Exploitation Task Force in the Bureau’s Tampa Division. “Some of his victims were as young as 6 or seven years old.”
The FBI was alerted about Lynch due to a partnership with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, which had received a tip from website security staff from sites where Lynch had posted pornographic images of children, according to the FBI.
“The sentence he received sets a precedent and really sends a message,” Sarasota Police Detective Megan Buck said. Buck is a member of the Fort Myers Child Exploitation Task Force. She investigated the case and arrested Lynch at the airport with the FBI. “The community is not going to tolerate this kind of exploitation of children anymore.”
ECPAT-USA has a long history of holding child sexual abusers from the United States who commit crimes abroad accountable. One of ECPAT-USA’s first legislative successes was in 1994 when the organization partnered with Congress to pass extra-territoriality laws that ensure US citizens traveling abroad and sexually abusing children in their destinations are prosecuted in the United States. The law was significantly strengthened in 2003 with the passage of the PROTECT Act.