Child Psychiatrist Sentenced to 40 Years for AI-Generated Child Pornography


  • Child psychiatrist David Tatum was sentenced to 40 years for AI-generated child pornography.
  • The shocking case reveals the extent of AI’s misuse in child exploitation.
  • Justice served as financial penalties to support victims of Tatum’s heinous acts.

A North Carolina child psychiatrist, David Tatum, has been handed a 40-year prison sentence for using artificial intelligence (AI) to create explicit pornographic images of minors. Tatum, aged 41, will also serve 30 years of supervised release for his crimes, which include secretly recording teenagers, including family members and a patient, while they undressed.

Horrific acts unveiled

The sentencing decision comes six months after Tatum was found guilty on multiple counts, including production, transportation, and possession of child pornography. His actions have shocked the community and law enforcement. Robert DeWitt, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in North Carolina, expressed his horror, stating, “It is horrific to believe anyone would secretly record children undressing and showering for their own sexual gratification. And when the evidence proves that person is a doctor entrusted to help children through difficult mental health situations, it is inconceivable.”

Five years of collecting child pornography

Evidence presented during the trial revealed that Tatum had spent five years amassing a collection of child pornography, beginning in 2016. During that year, he secretly recorded his 15-year-old cousin and other underage family members as they undressed and showered at a family vacation home in Maine.

Abuse of a former patient

Tatum’s criminal activities extended to his professional life. He recorded a former patient multiple times by directing a camera up her skirt during one of her therapy sessions. Despite her being 18 at the time of the incident, Tatum falsely documented her age as 17 in his notes, indicating his awareness that he was capturing child pornography, as per court documents.

Utilizing AI for deceptive purposes

When Tatum’s personal recordings no longer satisfied him, he turned to a “deep fake” website to digitally alter clothed images of minors, transforming them into sexually explicit content. Two of the images he manipulated with AI were originally from a school dance and a photo marking the first day of school, making the extent of his deception even more disturbing.

Extensive collection of child pornography

At the time of his arrest in 2021, Tatum possessed over 1,000 titles of child pornography, including videos containing the phrase “PTHC,” which stands for pre-teen hardcore, according to prosecutors. Tatum later admitted to being a voyeur.

Financial penalties and restitution

In addition to his prison sentence, Tatum has been ordered to pay a $100 special assessment per count of conviction and a special assessment totaling $99,000 under the Amy, Vicky, and Andy Child Pornography Victim Assistance Act. These financial penalties are intended to provide support to the victims of child pornography.

A shocking case of betrayal of trust

The case of David Tatum serves as a chilling reminder of the potential for abuse of trust and technology. A child psychiatrist entrusted with the well-being of young individuals chose to engage in abhorrent acts, exploiting his position of authority for his own gratification. The use of AI to create explicit content further underscores the evolving challenges in combatting such crimes. The severity of Tatum’s sentence reflects society’s determination to protect its most vulnerable members and to hold perpetrators accountable for their actions.

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Glory Kaburu

Glory is an extremely knowledgeable journalist proficient with AI tools and research. She is passionate about AI and has authored several articles on the subject. She keeps herself abreast of the latest developments in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning and writes about them regularly.

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