Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images
Steven Martinez, Assistant Director of the FBI in Los Angeles, speaks to reporters on Dec. 14, 2010 in Los Angeles during a press conference after the 'Lost Boy' international child pornography ring was dismantled.
A 27-year-old North Hollywood man was handed a 20-year prison sentence yesterday for his participation in the so-called Lost Boy international child pornography ring.
Harout Hagop Sarafian was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Virginia A. Phillips after pleading guilty last year to one count of conspiracy to advertise child pornography, according to the FBI.
Prosecutors say the child porn ring centered around an online bulletin board called Lost Boy, where men posted and traded images for their own use. A Grand Jury indictment from 2009 states that “Lost Boy is dedicated to ‘boylovers’ -- men who have a sexual interest in young boys. The main purpose of Lost Boy is to provide a forum for the trading of child pornography.”
An FBI investigation led to the closure of the bulletin board in January 2009 and identified nearly three-dozen suspects on three continents. About half of those men in the Lost Boy network were from the United States, authorities said. To stay in the network, they had to continuously trade and post pictures of young boys either naked or engaging in unlawful sex.
“Lost Boy had 35 members,” the FBI stated, “16 of whom were U.S. nationals. Other members of the network were located in countries around the world, including Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.
“Lost Boy” members came from varying backgrounds, prosecutors said. One was a pediatrician, another was a lawyer, and several were registered sex offenders. The FBI did not state whether Sarafian, a 2003 graduate of North Hollywood High School, had any prior sex offenses on his record.