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Published:October 12th, 2007 08:59 EST
Springfield man working as clown charged with sex tourism, child pornography

Springfield man working as clown charged with sex tourism, child pornography

By SOP newswire

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - A local man who worked as "Klutzo the Clown" was arrested and charged Tuesday with illegally traveling to the Philippines to photograph naked young boys at a local orphanage while having sex with them. These "sex tourism" charges resulted from a criminal investigation conducted by special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Amon Paul Carlock, 57, of the 2300 block of Hedge Lane, was arrested yesterday by ICE agents and charged in the Central District of Illinois with possessing child pornography and traveling overseas to engage in sexual conduct with a minor. U.S. Magistrate Judge Byron G. Cudmore ordered Carlock to remain detained in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service pending the preliminary and detention hearing scheduled for Oct. 12.

The affidavit filed in support of the complaint alleges Carlock traveled to the Philippines and worked as a clown at the House of Joy orphanage where he photographed minor boys, and while having sexual contact with at least three boys aged 9- and 10-years-old. On June 12, Carlock arrived at San Francisco airport from Manila. He was referred for a routine baggage inspection, which revealed numerous images of naked young boys on his digital camera and laptop computer, some of whom appeared to be posing and others who did not appear to be aware they were being photographed.

During the Sept. 28 execution of a federal search warrant at Carlock's Springfield residence, ICE agents recovered compact discs containing child pornography movies.

According to the affidavit, Carlock's stage name is "Klutzo the Clown," and he performs magic under the name "Professor Paul the Magician." According to Carlock's clown website, he is an ordained minister formerly with the Church of the Nazarene and currently with Missionary Church International.

"This case reveals the disturbing truth that some adults will go to great lengths to sexually exploit children," said Elissa A. Brown, special agent-in-charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in Chicago. "Unfortunately, we cannot restore the lost innocence to those children who have been exploited by sexual predators. However, ICE helps ensure that justice is served. Identifying and investigating those who victimize children is one of the most important responsibilities we have."

U.S. Attorney Rodger A. Heaton, Central District of Illinois, stated, "Through Project Safe Childhood, we not only prosecute those who sexually exploit children, but also raise awareness and educate the public about the disturbing prevalence of child exploitation and the child sex industry. It is unconscionable that so many children are devastatingly victimized by adults who exploit a child's trust and innocence."

Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy A. Bass, Central District of Illinois, is prosecuting this case. If convicted, the offense of travel in interstate or foreign commerce to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor, known as "sex tourism," carries a maximum statutory penalty of 30 years in prison. For possessing child pornography, the penalty is up to 10 years in prison. Both offenses carry fines of up to $250,000 and up to life terms of supervised release.

Carlock's investigation and arrest were part of Operation Predator, a national ICE initiative that protects children by investigating and presenting for prosecution pedophiles, Internet predators, human traffickers, international sex tourists, and other predatory criminals. Since Operation Predator was launched in July 2003, ICE agents have arrested more than 10,000 child predators and sex offenders nationwide, including 543 in Illinois.

ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE. Investigators staff this hotline around the clock.

Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.

Members of the public are reminded that a complaint is merely an accusation; the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

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