|Updated: 1/27 3:48 pm
||Published: 1/27 3:47 pm
A Tulsa man has been convicted and sentenced to 35 years for child abuse and pornography.
The conviction comes after an investigation by the Attorney General’s Internet crimes agent and the state’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
Aaron Leon Howk, 26, pleaded guilty to seven felonies, five counts of distributing child pornography and single counts of sexual abuse of a child and manufacturing child pornography.
In accordance with a plea agreement, a Tulsa County judge sentenced Howk to 35 years in prison for the sexual abuse, which involved a family member. The victim was 4 years old when the abuse occurred.
Howk must serve at least 85 percent of his 35-year prison term before becoming eligible for parole. He received concurrent 20-year terms on the pornography counts.
On March 28, a search warrant was served at Howk’s residence by task force members from the AG’s Office, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation ICAC Unit, the OSBI Computer Crimes Unit and the Edmond, Guthrie and Tulsa police departments.
While conducting the investigation, AG’s investigators received a cybertip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, alleging Howk was distributing child pornography on an online photo sharing site. FBI agents also contacted investigators with information about Howk trading child pornography online.
“Oklahoma families face a real and growing threat from Internet predators. By investigating and prosecuting these types of crimes, we are sending a clear message that the abuse of our most vulnerable will not be tolerated,” Attorney General Scott Pruitt said. “The Internet crimes task force has been a great success, and my office will continue to work with local law enforcement to safeguard Oklahoma families.”
The Oklahoma Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force includes more than 60 partner agencies, including the OSBI and the Attorney General’s Office. Members are specially trained to investigate the exploitation of children through the use of technology.