A FORMER Blaenavon bookshop-owner has been sentenced to 60 years in jail in a US court for producing child sex images.
James Daniel Hanna, 67, was arrested in Madison County, Arkansas in August 2012 and pleaded guilty to two counts of producing child pornography in January this year.
Hanna was sentenced yesterday to 60 years imprisonment without the possibility of parole, supervised release for life if ever released from prison, and a $25,000 fine.
United States Attorney Conner Eldridge said: “Crimes against children victimise the most vulnerable in our communities. The defendant in this case produced child pornography by preying on several minor girls, some as young as 13 years old.”
A concerned parent first raised suspicions of Hanna’s activities in August last year saying Hanna had sexually assaulted two 13-year-old girls.
The court in Fayetteville heard how Hanna had produced sexually explicit images of at least six different minors, ranging from 13 to 16 years old.
The Argus reported in 2003 that New Orleans-born Hanna worked to launch Blaenavon as a booktown similar to Hay-on-Wye.
Seven bookshops were opened at the time and tens of thousands of books were stored in a Blaenavon warehouse ready for distribution to would-be booksellers keen to set up their own businesses.
But three years later a number of the bookshops had closed and Hanna left the area.
South Wales Argus