CONTENT WARNING: GRAPHIC DESCRIPTIONS 

A child psychiatrist in Charlotte, N.C., has been sentenced to 40 years in prison for using artificial intelligence (AI) to create child pornography and secretly recording his 15-year-old cousin as she showered, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of North Carolina.

David Tatum, 41, created the AI images by modifying pictures of ex-girlfriends with sexually explicit images of minors which he had obtained online. Tatum digitally altered images from a school dance and a photo commemorating the first day of school to make them sexually explicit, prosecutors said.

Tatum viewed more than 1,000 files of child pornography titles, all of which contained the phrase, “PTHC,” which stands for “pre-teen hard core.”

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David Tatum, pictured, has been sentenced to 40 years in prison for using artificial intelligence (AI) to create child pornography and secretly recording his 15-year-old cousin as she showered. (Mecklenburg County)

He possessed the child pornography from 2016 through 2021, according to court documents viewed by Fox News Digital.

The pervert also secretly recorded his 15-year-old cousin as she got naked in a bathroom to shower at a family vacation home in Maine.

Tatum surreptitiously recorded other family members too, including more minors, getting naked and showering in the bathroom, according to the court documents. 

According to trial evidence, Tatum made similar surreptitious recordings of others, including of his patient who had just turned 18 years old five days prior.

Tatum was convicted in May of one count of the production of child pornography, one count of the transportation of child pornography and one count of the possession of child pornography. His sentence will be followed by 30 years of supervised release for the sexual exploitation of a minor and using artificial intelligence (AI) to create child pornography images of minors.

an aerial shot of Charlotte, North Carolina

Aerial view of Charlotte, North Carolina on clear day showing highways and skyline and Bank of America Stadium. David Tatum worked as a child psychiatrist in North Carolina. He has been sentenced to 40 years in prison. (isions of America/Joseph Sohm/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Tatum was also ordered to pay a special assessment totaling $99 and a further $100 special assessment per count of conviction. 

After he is released from prison, Tatum will be required to register with the Sex Offender Registry Board in any state or jurisdiction where he works or resides, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of North Carolina said.

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Dena J. King, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina, said Tatum’s crimes were even more damning given to his profession as a child psychiatrist.

“Tatum knew the damaging, long-lasting impact sexual exploitation has on the wellbeing of victimized children, King said. “Regardless, he engaged in the depraved practice of using secret recordings of his victims to create illicit images and videos of them.”

Tatum, King said, used artificial intelligence to victimize children. 

[The] 40-year sentence underscores our efforts to do all we can to bring justice to child victims. As the field of artificial intelligence advances, my office is committed to prosecuting predators who seek to exploit this technologyto inflict harm on children.

Doctor using AI

A doctor using AI on a laptop. Child psychiatrist David Tatum has been sentenced to 40 years in prison for using artificial intelligence to create child pornography. (iStock)

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Robert DeWitt, a Special Agent in charge of the FBI in North Carolina, echoed King’s sentiments. 

“It is horrific to believe anyone would secretly record children undressing and showering for their own sexual gratification,” DeWitt said.

“And when the evidence proves that person is a doctor entrusted to help children through difficult mental health situations, it is inconceivable. The FBI will never stop working to put predators like Tatum behind bars for a very long time.”



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