CHARLOTTE (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — A Charlotte child psychiatrist has been sentenced to 40 years in prison followed by 30 years of supervised release for sexual exploitation of a minor and using artificial intelligence to make child pornography, according to the United States Attorney’s Office.

Court documents show between 2016 and 2021, 41-year-old David Tatum possessed pictures and videos of child pornography.

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

Trial evidence shows around July 2016, Tatum secretly recorded a minor while they were undressing and showering. He also made similar secret recordings of others, including of one of his patients during an outpatient visit who had just turned 18 five days before the recording.

Officials say Tatum used AI to digitally change clothed images of minors making them sexually explicit. Specifically, he used a web-based AI application to change images of clothed minors into child pornography. Two of the images Tatum used were from a school dance and a picture celebrating the first day of school.

“It is horrific to believe anyone would secretly record children undressing and showering for their own sexual gratification. And when the evidence proves that person is a doctor entrusted to help children through difficult mental health situations, it is inconceivable,” said FBI Charlotte Special Agent in Charge DeWitt.

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On May 4, 2023, a federal jury in Charlotte convicted Tatum of:

  • One count of production of child pornography
  • One count of transportation of child pornography
  • One count of possession of child pornography

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

Tatum will also be required to register as a sex offender once he is released from prison.