Child Protection Award
John Luke Walker, Assistant U.S. Attorney, Western District of Louisiana (Lafayette, LA)
John Luke Walker was the lead prosecutor and a driving force behind Operation Delego, the largest child exploitation case ever prosecuted. His efforts resulted in 29 convictions of Operation Delego targets, including a teacher, police officer, and high ranking member of the military. The convictions resulted in sentences ranging from 10 years to life (three targets were sentenced to life) and helped to successfully dismantle a network of individuals whose main objective was the production of hardcore child pornography involving young children. Overseas child sex rings and commercial child pornography production rings were also dismantled as part of Operation Delego. As a result of convictions of Operation Delego targets in 2012, at least three child victims in the United States were identified.
In addition to his significant contributions during the prosecution of Operation Delego, Walker also carried a full caseload of other child exploitation targets in 2012. He indicted multiple sexual predators who sought to exploit children and at the time of this nomination, he had 47 active child exploitation cases. The cases that AUSA Walker prosecuted in 2012 resulted in the rescue of 3 child victims and the identification of 24 additional child victims. In addition to using his expertise to protect children in the courtroom, AUSA Walker teaches children and parents throughout the Western District of Louisiana about the dangers of online activity through Internet safety presentations; during 2012, he provided more than 25 presentations and reached approximately 3,000 children and 500 adults.