JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. — A Tennessee man has been convicted of selling three of his four daughters into a sex film ring and faces a mandatory sentence of at least 30 years behind bars.
Ronnie Lee McCall, 60, of Johnson City was taken into federal custody in 2013 along with his wife Connie. They were initially charged in 2012 with child abuse and neglect after being arrested by local police, who said that the conditions of their mobile home were “deplorable.”
But officials soon found that sexual exploitation of the couple’s children had also been taking place. The McCalls’ daughters were ages 5, 11, 14 and 16 at the time that the crimes were committed. It is unclear which three of the four daughters had been abused.
According to local television station WJHL, the man who filmed himself having sexual contact with the girls committed suicide.
Connie McCall plead guilty to the production of child pornography by a parent in Feb. 2014, while Ronnie McCall’s case went to a jury trial. On Thursday, a jury declared him guilty of four charges: permitting a child in his custody and control to travel in interstate commerce to produce child pornography, production of child pornography, production of child pornography by a parent and using a means of interstate commerce to induce a minor to engage in illegal sexual activity.
The case had been prosecuted by the U.S. Attorneys’ Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section.
“This prosecution underscores the importance of our partnership with local and state authorities, social service agencies, and others in protecting children, who are some of the most vulnerable members of our community,” acting attorney Nancy Stallard Harr said in a statement released by the Department of Justice on Friday. “While we cannot reclaim the children’s lost childhoods or innocence, we will hold people who sexually victimize children accountable for their conduct.”
McCall is scheduled to be sentenced on June 6, 2016. He faces a mandatory minimum of 30 years behind bars.
As previously reported, according to The Global Slavery Index, it is estimated that between 57,000–63,000 sex slave victims currently reside in America. Child prostitution is marked by watchdog groups as a growing problem that is inadequately addressed in most states.