North Carolina Child Psychiatrist Who Secretly Filmed Minors, Used AI to Make Clothed Images Sexually Explicit, Sentenced to 40 Years

David Tatum
David Tatum U.S. Department of Justice

A federal judge on Wednesday sentenced a Charlotte child psychiatrist to 40 years in prison for using artificial intelligence to create child pornography.

In addition to his sentence, David Tatum, 41, will also have 30 years of supervised release for the sexual exploitation of a minor, Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina said in a release, as reported by The Charlotte Observer.

Tatum was also ordered to pay restitution in an amount to be determined within 90 days, a $100 special assessment per count of conviction and a special assessment totaling $99,000 under the Amy, Vicky, and Andy Child Pornography Victim Assistance Act. He could see a maximum fine of $750,000.

Upon his prison release, Tatum also will be required to register as a sex offender in any state or jurisdiction where he works or resides.

Tatum Secretly Recorded Minors Showering, Undressing

Tatum formerly worked for Atrium Health and was indicted and arrested in June 2022. The child psychiatrist owned a collection of images and videos between 2016 and 2021 depicting the sexual abuse of children, according to U.S. Attorney's Office in Charlotte.

As trial evidence established, he produced some of the content himself, secretly recording a minor who was undressing and showering in 2016 while he practiced in New York, prosecutors say. That same year, Tatum surreptitiously recorded one of his New York patients during an outpatient visit, five days after the youth turned 18.

Tatum Used AI on Clothed Images to Make Them Sexually-Explicit

Additionally, trial evidence established that Tatum used AI to digitally alter clothed images of minors making them sexually explicit. Specifically, evidence showed Tatum used a web- based artificial intelligence application to alter images of clothed minors into child pornography.

Two of the images Tatum used AI to modify were from a school dance and a photo commemorating the first day of school.

In May, a federal jury in Charlotte convicted Tatum of one count of production of child pornography, one count of transportation of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. He is currently in federal custody and will be transferred to a federal prison facility.

Related topics : Artificial intelligence