The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) knew that at least ten of their agents and contractors had allegedly perpetrated sexual crimes against minor children, but only two of them were ever prosecuted.
According to declassified albeit heavily redacted reports obtained by Buzzfeed through the Freedom of Information Act, the CIA’s Office of the Inspector General found that ten staffers committed heinous sex crimes with children from 2004-2019.
Five were fired or resigned from their posts, four more were referred to an internal board that investigates classified leaks, but only two were charged by a federal prosecutor.
One employee had 10 images depicting child sexual abuse on his CIA assigned computer but claimed he had switched computers while he was abroad and denied ever viewing the images.
A CIA contractor solicited sex from an FBI agent undercover as a minor child in a chatroom and the man eventually confessed to an obsession with viewing child abuse content, but when his computer was seized, the hard drives had been removed and could not be located.
In 2016, an employee used a government-issued computer to view child sexual abuse photos, and the documents pertaining to the case said that he had displayed “consistent interest and pattern of [redacted] conversations involving sexual activities between adults and minors.” The outcome of his case was redacted.
Another admitted to seeing up to 1,400 child sexual abuse images during his time with the agency and apologized, but admitted “he did not understand that it was a violation of agency policy to access child pornography until he took the Agency Information Security Course.” He was not charged after the images could not be recovered from his computer.
Investigators found that an agent with security clearance had sexual contact with a two-year-old girl and a six-year-old girl, possessed 63 videos of children between 8-16 being sexually assaulted, and had downloaded the material on government Wi-Fi. The inspector general declined to charge him over evidence mishandling.
The US Attorney’s office claimed that they don’t factor in a suspect’s employer when evaluating a case. “While we cannot comment on the reasons why specific cases were declined, we do take very seriously any allegation that our prosecutors declined a potential case based on an improper assessment of the relevant factors,” a spokesperson said.
They did note that the law that protects the CIA from disclosing details about their operations and operators made prosecuting child sex offenders difficult. “Not knowing the identities of the suspects is a hindrance in identifying these cases and why they were declined.”