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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — I normally stay away from the baby rape stories because I hate writing them up. But for Shawn Joseph McCormack, a man accused of videotaping himself raping a baby then distributing the video over the Internet, I’m making an exception. Not just because of the absolutely sickening details, but also because of the excellent work of the Bakersfield Police Department, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and the Colorado Springs Police Department.

It all started with a video recovered on the other side of the country during a November 2010 child porn bust in Boston. The video starts with an 11-month-old lying on his back on a hotel bed. His legs are raised and his hands are bound to his legs by electrical tape. At approximately 3 minutes an adult male covers the child’s mouth with his hand and the child’s muffled cries can be heard.

None of the news articles will go any further when describing what is detailed in the arrest warrant, citing it is just too graphic to broadcast. I read some of it in the video I’ve included, and I’m kind of glad no one is giving out the gory details as I would have undoubtedly read them and included them in this article.

Although police didn’t have much to go on, they immediately began trying to identify everything they could in the video, starting with what was being broadcast on the television during the rape. In the background of one of the videos, an episode of “Family Matters” is playing with a Pepperidge Farms ad during a commercial break. ICE subpoenaed both Viacom and Pepperidge Farms to find that on March 28, 2009, both the “Family Matters” episode aired in conjunction with the Pepperidge Farms commercial. So now they had the exact date of the rape.

They then began looking at the furniture in the video and determined it was made by Gloria Trade International. One subpoena later and they had a list of all customers who bought that particular furniture, leading them to a California Best Inn on Wible Road in Bakersfield. The owner of the hotel was also subpoenaed and provided investigators with a list of all customers on the date the assault happened. This yielded McCormack’s name, who had stayed in room 221 on March 28, 2009. Investigators were then able to match various objects in room 221, including curtains and a bathroom vanity, to the objects seen in the video. Now they had a name.

A quick database search found that in November of 2009, McCormack had been arrested on misdemeanor child endangerment charges stemming from a report of a missing child. McCormack had been staying with a couple who called police after finding that their child was missing along with McCormack. Bakersfield police reports indicate that McCormack returned to the residence carrying the boy, who was dressed only in a diaper, and told police that the boy had woken up and he’d decided to take him with him when he went out to get a drink.

The baby’s father told police he didn’t think McCormack had bad intentions, but the family field a complaint against him anyway. The case against McCormack was never prosecuted because he fled the area shortly after his arrest. The couple were shown the video and confirmed that the boy being raped by McCormack was indeed their son.

McCormack had since moved to Black Forest Colorado where he had already gotten himself arrested in July of 2010. Using the screen name “toddlers,” McCormack had sent sent child pornography to an undercover officer, and told the officer that he sometimes takes his friend’s child to a hotel late at night. Agents issued a summons to Qwest Communications and were able to match “toddlers” IP address to McCormack. When investigators searched McCormack’s home, they discovered 4,000 images and 365 videos of child pornography — including images from the Bakersfield rape.

McCormack is now in federal custody in Colorado where he will be extradited to Fresno and face a federal judge on charges of sexual exploitation of a child. What infuriates me about McCormack, aside from what he has done, is that at this moment he and I are breathing the same air.

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