Socialite sentenced to 14 years for child porn collection

This case baffles me. Erika Perdue, a wealthy socialite, spent 13 years trading child pornography online. No one, from her friends to her wealthy husband, suspected a thing. The FBI caught Perdue in 2012 when an agent downloaded several explicit videos from Perdue’s peer-to-peer account:

Then, in January 2012, an FBI agent based in Maryland downloaded seven videos (e.g. “2yo+mom+dad”) from a peer-to-peer network user calling herself “Classybitch.” From there, it took little effort to track Perdue down at her $1.4 million UP home and discover that she shared child porn almost every day while her husband was at work, and that she’d been doing so for the past 13 years.

What baffles me is long Perdue managed to trade images and videos without ever being suspected. How many times have we heard of people, always men, being caught after trading a handful of images over the course of a couple of months? This woman lasted over a decade while trading every day.

How did she not get caught?

I would love to pin that on gender bias, but how would anyone know she was actually a woman? Any man could call himself “Classybitch” online with no one being the wiser.

Where gender bias appears to play a role is in Perdue’s sentencing:

The judge who issued the sentence said he was reluctant to reduce it from 20 years, but prosecutors said they’d agreed to it because the convicted woman suffers from “some pretty severe mental health” problems.

In court, defense attorney Deborah Goodall said Perdue was a “longtime user of methamphetamine” who used the drug “on a daily basis,” and had used the drug while downloading and trading child porn. Perdue also reportedly tried to take her own life while in custody in 2012.

Another article offers more information:

Perdue has a troubled past, having gotten pregnant at 16, married at 17, and divorced twice by 26. She has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder since being arrested in April 2012 but was kicked out of treatment due to her “threatening behavior.”

Perdue is not walking away from this with a slap on the wrist. She will have to serve a large portion of the 14-year sentence and faces eight years on probation as well as a permanent registry to the sex offender database.

Nevertheless, it is curious that a history of drug use and bipolar disorder results in a six-year credit on the sentence.

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5 thoughts on “Socialite sentenced to 14 years for child porn collection

  1. A suicide attempt AFTER you are in trouble is not the same as a suicide attempt due to a major mental illness. Everyone coming off drugs appears to meet the criteria for Bipolar Disorder for a brief period during detox, which she would have been in after arrest. Drug use and divorce are common enough in folks who don’t do this. But its easier for our society to claim we women are crazy or defective rather than seeing us as humans with the potential for criminal or deviant interests.

  2. This is mostly a “witch” hunt at the point. When US laws punish a man for having cartoon images of “The Simpson’s” something took a serious wrong turn. We are well into the non-sense mode of “child pornography” – when a young girl can take a picture of herself, and send it to another child, and be charged as a pedophile – for taking a picture of herself – there is something seriously wrong with the system.

    We moved past “sanity” long ago, and into the realm of non-sensical… As a potential jury member I swore long ago that I would be the “not-guilty” on any jury which wastes time with this stuff… The “law” is well past it’s usefulness in this area…

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