Bedford Man Sentenced to Decades in Prison After Child Pornography Conviction
More Local Results as Part of United States Attorney’s Project Safe Childhood Initiative
|U.S. Attorney’s Office June 05, 2013|
INDIANAPOLIS—United States Attorney Joseph H. Hogsett announced this morning the sentencing of Bedford resident John William Hudson, II, age 47, to 22 years in federal prison following his conviction of charges that he both possessed and distributed child pornography. Hogsett said these results come as his continues Operation Community Watch, a new effort which aims to reduce the abuse of Hoosier children through new investigative techniques and aggressive prosecution.
“Working with our Operation Community Watch partners in Lawrence County and around the state, we are sending the message to those who exploit children that they are not anonymous online,” Hogsett said. “If you engage in this type of activity, there is no place to run or hide—we will find you, and you will be brought to justice.”
According to court documents, federal investigators first identified Hudson in January 2012 through the use of undercover officers on a peer-to-peer file sharing network. During that operation, an online user of that service was found to be sharing hundreds of images and videos depicting the sexual abuse of children. That user’s activity was traced to a home in Bedford, which was later identified as Hudson’s residence.
On May 1, 2012, a federal search warrant was executed at the defendant’s home, at which point investigators located computer equipment that contained more than 300 sexually-explicit images and a dozen video files depicting children. Hudson informed investigators that he would periodically delete all of his pornography files, after which he would begin to collect images and video files again.
In sentencing Hudson, U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt considered a pattern of sexual exploitation by the defendant, including admissions that he had abused a male relative over a period of 10 years, beginning when the relative was just 5 years old. This abuse included Hudson making still images and video files of the victim.
According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Gayle L. Helart, the defendant was ordered to serve lifetime supervised release at the end of his prison term. These charges were the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Cyber Crimes Task Force.
This prosecution comes as Hogsett has announced a comprehensive crackdown on child exploitation in Indiana. Earlier this year, he launched Operation Community Watch, which will allow prosecutors and investigators to use cutting-edge techniques to identify and charge people in Hoosier communities who are engaged in the receipt and trafficking of child pornography materials.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a larger nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Hogsett pointed out that in the last Project Safe Childhood reporting year, the office prosecuted 52 defendants, an increase of 37 percent over the prior year, and 49 defendants were convicted and sentenced. These are all-time records for the office. The office conviction rate for PSC cases was 100 percent, a level it has been at since 1991.
The greatest measure of the PSC program’s impact, however, is the identification and rescue of child victims of sexual exploitation and abuse. Over the last year, the U.S. Attorney’s Office successfully identified more than 120 child victims, including minors in Indiana; numerous places in the United States; Canada; Switzerland; and other countries around the world.
Led nationally by United States 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.