Monday 13 November 2023

Child psychiatrist gets 40 years in prison for using AI to alter photos of children into child porn: 'It is inconceivable'

 A child psychiatrist in North Carolina has been handed a hefty prison sentence for child porn offenses. The Charlotte man reportedly took photos of children and altered them into child porn by using artificial intelligence.

David Tatum, 41, was convicted in May of one count of the production of child pornography, one count of the transportation of child pornography, and one count of the possession of child pornography. Last week, Tatum was sentenced to 40 years in prison, followed by 30 years of supervised release.

The judge also ordered Tatum to pay restitution in an amount to be determined within 90 days, a $100 special assessment per count of conviction, and a special assessment totaling $99,000. Tatum will also be required to register with the Sex Offender Registry Board in any state or jurisdiction where he works or resides after he is released from prison.

Tatum possessed images and videos of child pornography, according to court documents.

The child psychiatrist in Charlotte utilized AI to digitally alter photos of clothed children and transform them into sexually explicit images. In two images, Tatum used a web-based artificial intelligence application to create child pornography from photos from a school dance and a photo commemorating the first day of school, according to prosecutors.

Tatum secretly recorded his 15-year-old cousin while the child was undressing and showering, according to court docs.

The child psychiatrist also secretly recorded others, including one of his patients who had just turned 18 years old five days before the covert recording, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Western District of North Carolina.

Fox News reported, "Tatum viewed more than 1,000 files of child pornography titles, all of which contained the phrase, 'PTHC,' which stands for 'pre-teen hard core.'"

Tatum had collected child porn from 2016 through 2021, according to court documents.

“As a child psychiatrist, Tatum knew the damaging, long-lasting impact sexual exploitation has on the wellbeing of victimized children. Regardless, he engaged in the depraved practice of using secret recordings of his victims to create illicit images and videos of them," said Dena J. King – U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.

"Tatum also misused artificial intelligence in the worst possible way: to victimize children," King continued. "Today’s 40-year sentence underscores our efforts to do all we can to bring justice to child victims. As the field of artificial intelligence advances, my office is committed to prosecuting predators who seek to exploit this technology to inflict harm on children."

FBI Charlotte Special Agent in Charge Robert M. DeWitt added, "It is horrific to believe anyone would secretly record children undressing and showering for their own sexual gratification. And when the evidence proves that person is a doctor entrusted to help children through difficult mental health situations, it is inconceivable. The FBI will never stop working to put predators like Tatum behind bars for a very long time.”

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