MACON, Ga. – Two Valdosta residents were sentenced to federal prison today for producing child pornography.
Robert Abacan, 44, of Valdosta, Georgia, was sentenced to serve a total of 50 years in prison (30 years for count one and 20 years for count two to run consecutively) to be followed by 25 years of supervised release by U.S. District Judge Hugh Lawson after pleading guilty to two counts of production of child pornography. Co-defendant Frances Abacan, 43, of Valdosta, was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison to be followed by 25 years of supervised release after pleading guilty to one count production of child pornography. They will have to register as sex offenders under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act upon release from federal prison. There is no parole in the federal system.
“The Abacan’s actions were monstrous, but today justice has been served. This fifty-year sentence guarantees that Robert Abacan will never again be able to harm children,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary. “I am thankful to our local and federal law enforcement partners for helping us hold the Abacans accountable for their despicable crimes against children.”
“The FBI is extremely grateful to our law enforcement partners for bringing this case to our attention so that we could hold this couple accountable to the greatest extent of the law,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “The children involved in this horrendous abuse will be scarred for life, but hopefully, because of this sentence, the Abacans won’t be able to hurt any more children.”
“This is one of the worst cases of child pornography and exploitation I have encountered during my decades in law enforcement. Putting these people behind bars wouldn’t have happened without the close cooperation of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the FBI and all of the federal agencies that worked to bring the Abacans to justice,” said Lowndes County Sheriff Ashley Paulk.
In 2018, the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office received information which ultimately revealed that Abacan had sexually molested three minor victims. Some of this sexual abuse was recorded on video, and a copy was transported from the state of California to Valdosta.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the DOJ’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
FBI and Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Katelyn Semales and Alex Kalim prosecuted the case for the Government, with assistance from Victim Assistance Specialist Marsha Vera.