Scranton, Pa

Santa Monica Man Charged in Montgomery County Child Exploitation Scheme

Posted: March 28, 2024

Earlier this month, 54-year-old John Douglas Burch from Santa Monica, California was charged in connection to an online child exploitation scheme that began in Los Angeles, California. United States Attorney Jacqueline C. Romero and the Philadelphia FBI believe Burch had been victimizing female minors in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, California, and other states since as early as 2014. As a result, he currently faces charges of traveling to engage in illicit sexual conduct and enticement of a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct and prostitution.

The FBI’s investigation revealed that Burch utilized his numerous social media accounts to target females, mostly minors, often posing as a fitness professional. After initiating contact, Burch allegedly pressured his victims to participate in his “sex slave training program.” This “training” included requiring his victims to watch violent pornography, listen to sexual and explicit audio recordings, send him pornographic videos and images of themselves, create online dating profiles for sexual encounters and commercial sex, follow instructions on how to perform certain sexual acts for sexual “meetings”, and document these meetings with videos and photos. Once the victims completed the training program to Burch’s liking, he met up with them.

The investigation also revealed that Burch may have coerced his adult victims to recruit young girls for his program using social media. In 2014, the FBI said that Burch met a 13 or 14-year-old girl through the online chat room Omegle, where he “groomed her to become his sex slave” and subjected her to his “training program.” After the training ended, he allegedly directed her to the King of Prussia Mall in Montgomery County to meet men and perform sexual acts on them per Burch’s instructions. According to court documents, Burch instructed the victim to sit on a mall bench to wait for his clients – which included approximately a dozen men over the course of three years.

The investigation also indicated that between 2014 and 2024, Burch was active on various social media platforms, including Snapchat, Omegle, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Reddit, Discord, Seeking Arrangements, Fetlife, Telegram, and Kik.

Under federal law, a person is guilty of transportation of minors with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct if the person travels in interstate commerce with the motivating purpose of engaging in any illicit sexual conduct with another person. If convicted, the person faces fines or imprisonment for up to 30 years, or both. Additionally, under federal law, a person is guilty of enticement of a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct and prostitution if they persuade, induce, entice, or coerce any individual who has not attained 18 years of age, to engage in prostitution or any sexual activity for which any person can be charged with a criminal offense, or attempts to do so. If convicted, the person faces fines and imprisonment for 10 years to life.

While the CSE Institute commends the FBI and United States Attorney’s decision to prosecute Burch, we are disappointed that he has not been charged under the federal human trafficking statute. Under federal law, a person is guilty of trafficking if they recruit, entice, harbor, transport, provide, obtain, advertise, maintain, patronize, or solicit a person through the means of force, fraud, or coercion for a commercial sex act. To convict someone of sex trafficking of a child, the prosecution must only prove that the defendant engaged in soliciting, enticing, harboring, obtaining, patronizing, or transporting a minor who is or will be subject to sexual servitude. \ Under both federal and state law, any commercial sexual exploitation of minors constitutes sex trafficking because children cannot consent to being bought or sold for sex.

The CSE Institute applauds the Philadelphia United States Attorney’s Office and the Philadelphia FBI for their collaborative investigative efforts to combat the sexual exploitation of minors and adults. Additionally, the CSE commends the Philadelphia FBI for encouraging victims to come forward and providing online trauma services and resources for victims.

The FBI’s Philadelphia Field Office is seeking any previous or potential victims of Burch. If you have any information related to this case, the FBI encourages you to fill out this form. The following are all of Burch’s known social media handles:

Snapchat: Just 9×6.5a (Display Name), Mr. Bigc0ck (Account Name)

KIK: Mstr_Trainer

Discord: @TheBurch9567

Telegram: Burch

Instagram: “@food_is_not_enemy”; “@notyourfitguru2”; “@not_your_fit_guru_original”; “@backup_notryourfitguru”

Facebook: Notyourfitguru

The CSE Institute will continue to provide updates on this matter.

All views expressed herein are personal to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law or Villanova University.

Category: News

« Back to News
  • Learn More About The CSE Institute

    We welcome contact from organizations and individuals interested in more information about The CSE Institute and how to support it.

    Shea M. Rhodes, Esq.
    Tel: 610-519-7183

    Prof. Michelle M. Dempsey
    Faculty Advisor
    Tel: 610-519-8011

    Contact Us »