Buncombe County Man Sentenced to 36 Years in Prison on Child Pornography Charges
|U. S. Attorney’s Office April 25, 2013|
ASHEVILLE, NC—Lawrence Salvatore Hutson, 41, of Cantler, North Carolina, was sentenced on Wednesday, April 24, 2013, by U.S. District Judge Martin Reidinger to serve 432 months in federal prison for transporting child pornography, announced Anne M. Tompkins, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. Hutson was also placed on a lifetime of supervised release and was ordered to register as a sex offender.
Joining U.S. Attorney Tompkins in making today’s announcement are John A. Strong, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte Division, and Sheriff Van Duncan of the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office.
In January 2012, Hutson pleaded guilty to one count of transportation of visual depictions of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct. According to filed court documents and court proceedings, the conduct took place in August 2010. During the investigation, authorities seized a USB thumb drive, which belonged to Hutson, that contained over 4,000 images of child pornography, including many videos. Court records indicate that Hutson’s child pornography collection contained images of prepubescent children, including infants and toddlers. According to court records and yesterday’s sentencing hearing, Hutson also held two separate previous convictions in Pennsylvania for sexual contact offenses upon minors. Hutson’s sentence was enhanced because of the prior state convictions.
Hutson has been in local federal custody in the Western District of North Carolina since September 2011. Upon designation of a federal facility, he will be transferred into custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons. All federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole.
The investigation was handled by the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office assisted by the FBI and the Wheaton Police Department in Illinois. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys David Thorneloe and Don Gast of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Asheville.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), 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 to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.