A Morgan Hill man was sentenced to prison for exploiting families living in extreme poverty by paying them to sexually abused their children.
According to prosecutors, 65-year-old Johnny Ray Wolfenbarger paid mothers and sex traffickers in the Philippines to live stream videos of children being sexually abused.
A jury found Wolfenbarger guilty of every child pornography leveled against him. U.S. Judge Edward Davila sentenced Wolfenbarger 17 years in a federal prison cell on Monday.
“Johnny Ray Wolfenbarger leveraged the extreme poverty and desperation of foreign families to perpetrate sexual abuse on their young children,” United States Attorney Stephanie Hinds said.
“His prison sentence reflects these vile acts and the immeasurable harm he caused to these children’s lives. All children, wherever they are, must be protected from being preyed upon by a sexual predator,” Hinds said.
Wolfenbarger was immediately taken into custody Monday to begin serving his sentence.
The FBA launched an investigation into Wolfenbarger after receiving a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
According to evidence presented at his 2021 trial, the FBI executed a warrant on his email account and found images and videos of child pornography, chats detailing solicitation of live-streamed child sex abuse “shows” and money transfer receipts by Wolfenbarger to numerous sex traffickers in the Philippines.
The chats show that Wolfenbarger has been directing the children to engage in specific sex acts on camera. The victims were between the ages 4-12 years old.
More trial evidence showed Wolfenbarger traveled to the Philippines throughout 2016 and early 2016. On August 2, 2016, he was met by an FBI agent at the San Francisco International Airport. During an interview with the FBI, he admitted that he solicited, paid for, and “directed” live-streamed child sex abuse shows from multiple women in the Philippines.
Western Union bank has records of over $25,000 in money transfers from Wolfenbarger to families in the Philippines.
“On several occasions, Wolfenbarger sent money to the children’s guardians for living expenses and to purchase sex toys and web cams, with the explicit understanding that he would receive sex shows in return,” prosecutors wrote.
According to the U.S Attorney’s Office, online sexual exploitation of vulnerable, impoverished children in the Philippines has greatly increased in recent years due to demand from pedophiles in wealthy Western nations,
In addition to the 210-month prison term, Judge Davila sentenced Wolfenbarger to a 15-year probation term requiring supervision after completing his prison sentence.