NewsConvicted child psychiatrist exploited AI to create child pornography

Convicted child psychiatrist exploited AI to create child pornography

The man was sentenced to 40 years.
The man was sentenced to 40 years.
Images source: © Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office

4:09 PM EST, November 12, 2023

David Tatum, a child psychiatrist from North Carolina, stands convicted for misusing artificial intelligence to transform innocent photos of children into explicit content. Prior to this, the 40-year-old was caught filming his patients and minors within his family.

On Wednesday, a North Carolina court sentenced David Tatum to 40 years in prison for his involvement in child pornography. The professional, who was expected to support young individuals daily, was covertly photographing his patients. He later manipulated these images and videos utilizing artificial intelligence.

Child psychiatrist caught secretly filming patients

"It's horrifying to think anyone would violate the innocence of children for personal gratification. It's even more shocking when the accused is a doctor, entrusted with the duty to aid children dealing with psychological issues," said Robert DeWitt, an FBI agent in North Carolina.

Tatum has been stockpiling explicit material since 2016. It was around this time he started filming his 15-year-old cousin. The investigators, in their process, stumbled upon disturbing videos of the adolescent bathing.

In the course of therapeutic sessions, Tatum repeatedly filmed a 17-year-old patient. The psychiatrist cleverly positioned the camera to capture explicit footage of the girl.

When he desired more explicit content, Tatum turned to a website employing artificial intelligence. Attempting to convert images of minors into explicit content, he targeted photos from various innocent scenarios, such as a school dance and the beginning of a school year.

Over the past seven years, Tatum amassed over 1000 pornographic videos of children. Several files featured the term "PTHC" ("pre-teen hardcore") indicating explicit content involving school-aged children.

Tatum only confessed to voyeurism. Besides the substantial prison sentence, he is also ordered to pay $99,000 to the Amy, Vicky, and Andy Child Pornography Victim Assistance Act organization.

Related content