FBI seeks information on identity of child sexual assault victim


The Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking for a man who may have critical information about a child sex victim. 

A photograph released by the FBI shows the man known only as John Doe 40.  

The photo is actually a still from a child pornography video that allegedly shows the man with the child victim.  

The video was discovered in October 2017 by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The FBI believes the video was made prior to that date. 

John Doe 40 is a white male believed to be 30 to 40-years-old. He is heavyset with dark hair. He is speaking English in the video. 

“We go to great lengths to identify these individuals, so this case is important to get out to the public,” said Assistant Special Agent in Charge Matthew Espenshade.  

Agent Espenshade said crimes against children are some of the most important cases the FBI works.  

His agents analyze the faces of the perpetrators and victims in child pornography videos as well as items and details in the rooms.  

“Whether that’s the type of build of house, or maybe even the curtains on the wall you can only get at a certain store in that region. We’ll look at all of those types of things in order to pinpoint down the location where this happened,” he said. 

To catch the perp, an undercover operation isn’t out of the question. When the FBI finds a suspect, the victim is often not far away. Most child sex abuse victims know their abusers. 

“Parents need to be careful about what relationships they trust, what information you put out about your child to the public, what you have online and what children are doing online,” said Espenshade. “Be extremely vigilant with the care of your child and who they’re in the care of.” 

When FBI agents find the child, no matter where they are, a victim witness specialist will be waiting.  

“That is someone who’s trained in counseling. They will go out, meet with the family members, meet with the victims, provide those services to make that person whole again,” he said.  

Agents across the country will also be looking for the suspects who download the video. Espenshade said each time that video is downloaded and viewed, the child will be re-victimized. 

The FBI said there is no reason to believe the man is in Tennessee. It is part of a nationwide push for information in the case. 

Anyone with information can submit a tip online, or call the FBI’s toll-free tip line at 1-800-CALL-FBI

You can also contact a Crimes Against Children Investigator at your local FBI office, or the nearest American Embassy or Consulate. 

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