CIA staffers weren't prosecuted for sex crimes with children: Report

Only one employee was charged with crimes, and the lack of prosecution may be due to the sensitive nature of the CIA's work.

Updated: December 2, 2021 - 9:30pm

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Files from the Central Intelligence Agency show that within the last 14 years, at least 10 employees, including contractors, committed child sex crimes. 

Buzzfeed discovered the incidents by requesting records via the Freedom of Information Act. While most cases were referred for prosecution, only one was charged criminally. That employee was already being investigated for the mishandling of classified information. The other employees were dealt with internally by the CIA.

One employee was fired after sexual contact with children, ages 2 and 6. In another case, an employee viewed an estimated 1,400 pictures of child pornography while on assignments, but Buzzfeed wrote that the obtained records do not state if or how the CIA remedied the situation.

Multiple former CIA officials said the lack of formal prosecution is due to the sensitive nature of employees' work. The concern is that "they may inadvertently be forced to disclose sources and methods" in testimony, according to a former official.

Child sex crimes have occurred throughout important government offices for years. A Department of Defense report from 2009 shows numerous officials had images of child porn. In 2016, Daniel Payne, who at the time was the Pentagon's Defense Security Service director, said, "the amount of child porn I see [on government devices] is just unbelievable."

The documents that were obtained by Buzzfeed took 13 public records requests, three lawsuits, and one decade to receive the entire report, which is more than 3,600 pages long.