MESA, Ariz -- Brandon Keith Jones robbed three Valley children of their innocence and then made videos to memorialize it. 3TV has new insight into a child pornography investigation that started in a Mesa apartment and traveled across the world.
"A lot of times children 5 and under are the main targets because they can't speak, they can't say something," according to Mesa police Detective Diana Williams. "So a lot of the time the offender will say, 'OK, well, if there is some kind of suspicion going on, it's not like they're going to be able to tell what's going on.'"
Something horrific was happening at the Indigo Springs Apartments in 2010. It involved two girls, a 1-year-old and a 3-year-old, as well as a 5-year-old boy.
"This is a man that sexually abuses children and, like I said, memorializes it, but takes it one step further and invites others to watch it," said Lisa Andrus, assistant bureau chief for the Sex Crimes Bureau at the Maricopa County Attorney's Office.
Detectives suspected Jones was not only producing child pornography videos of the children but also sharing his despicable acts by distributing them online. Videos that police say made it all the way to Boston, even to the Netherlands.
"It's probably more in our backyards than we know, unfortunately," Williams said.
According to the Mesa police report, detectives discovered 23 videos on Jones' hard drive. Among them, the 5-year-old boy being molested, forced to suck on a pacificer. He was wearing diapers in some videos and Dora The Explorer underwear in other videos.
"The emotional trauma of being forced to wear girls' panties and wear a diaper and, again at the age of 5, for a little boy that's something that would be a very humiliating memory for him," Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Lisa Flores told Jones.
During Jones' sentencing, the mother of two of the victims told the court she wonders if the abuse of her children could have been prevented.
"A man that should have had to been registered as a sex offender from the first time he was found to be in possession of child pornography," she said.
In 2002, when Jones was a juvenile, San Bernardino police arrested him for selling and sending obscene matter depicting a minor in California.
But as Andrus pointed out in court, "You can't punish for what somebody did as a juvenile."
Because he was a juvenile, whether charges were ever filed remains sealed. What we do know is Jones was never required to register as a sex offender in Arizona.
"It really goes back to the juvenile system, the whole purpose is treatment and rehabilitation and not to punish," Andrus explained.
Under Arizona law, since Jones was 26 at the time of his arrest here, "Even if he was required to register, that would have stopped when he turned 25," Andrus said.
"With these types of crimes, them being so unique, the chances of someone re-offending is high," Williams said.
According to Mesa police, all of the videos confiscated in the investigation are now flagged so if anyone tries to view the material, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children will be notified. As Williams explained, "because of cases like this, this is a prime example that we have and we're able to advance our resources to catching these offenders."
In March, Flores sentenced Jones to 35 years in the Arizona Department of Corrections for repeatedly molesting the three children. Jones is expected to serve another 15 years in federal prison for creating videos of his abuse with the victims and distributing them online. Once he's released, he will remain on supervised probation for the rest of his life.