Evansville Man Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison After Child Exploitation Conviction
More Local Results as Part of United States Attorney’s Project Safe Childhood Initiative
|U.S. Attorney’s Office August 07, 2013|
INDIANAPOLIS—United States Attorney Joseph H. Hogsett announced this afternoon the sentencing of Evansville resident Floyd Patrick Williams, age 48, to 15 years in federal prison following his admission that he attempted to produce child pornography. Hogsett said these results come as he 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 Vanderburgh County and around the state, we are sending a warning to those who seek to exploit Hoosier children,” 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, an Evansville Police Department Officer observed the defendant at the Evansville Central Library in April 2012. Over the course of a few minutes, the officer watched as the defendant on multiple occasions followed young boys into the bathroom of the library. A witness reported to the officer that Williams was looking between the stall openings at the young boys, and when questioned, one of the boys indicated Williams had put a camera phone over the stall and appeared to be taking pictures of the victim.
Williams was later arrested by the Evansville Police Department, at which time officers found the defendant to be in possession of both a phone and a thumb drive. A search of those items revealed a number of video recordings of minor boys urinating in public restrooms, including the Evansville Central Library. A search of Williams’ criminal history revealed a 2007 felony voyeurism conviction in Indianapolis for taking photographs of young boys in public restrooms.
According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd S. Shellenbarger, the defendant was ordered by Chief U.S. District Judge Richard L. Young to serve lifetime supervised release at the end of his prison term. These charges were the result of an investigation by the Department of Justice Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Cyber Crimes Task Force, along with the Evansville Police Department.
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.projectsafechildhood.gov.