Austell Man Sentenced to More Than 17 Years for Receiving Child Pornography
|U.S. Attorney’s Office June 20, 2013|
AUGUSTA, GA—Starke Allen Hawkins, 60, of Austell, Georgia, was sentenced on June 19, 2013, by United States District Court J. Randal Hall to 17 ½ years in prison, followed by 20 years of supervised release, for receiving child pornography. Hawkins will be required to register as a sex offender. At the conclusion of the sentencing, Hawkins was returned to the custody of the United States Marshals Service to serve his sentence.
According to the evidence presented at Hawkins’ plea and sentencing hearings, in April 2012, a computer storage device, later determined to be that of Hawkins’, contained approximately 100 images of child pornography depicting prepubescent children engaged in sexual acts. The device also reflected online chats of a highly sexual nature between Hawkins and at least one minor. When interviewed by an Federal Bureau of Investigation agent, Hawkins admitted that he had downloaded and viewed child pornography images and had shared images with a minor female. Hawkins’ computer and storage media were found to contain over 530 still images and at least three video images of child pornography. At the sentencing hearing, Hawkins admitted to having a serious problem and hoped to get treatment while in prison.
United States Attorney Edward J. Tarver stated, “The exchange of images depicting the sexual exploitation of innocent children is a serious and heinous crime. The abuse to these young victims continued every time the defendant viewed these images and shared them with others. There is no higher priority within the Department of Justice than the protection of our nation’s children. There should be no doubt that the United States Attorney’s Office will prosecute those who facilitate and create a market for the violent sexual assault of children.”
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a U.S. Department of Justice initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as identify and rescue victims.
The case was the result of an investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Nancy Greenwood prosecuted the case. For additional information, please contact First Assistant United States Attorney James D. Durham at (912) 201-2547.