Federal Jury Convicts Shoshone Man of Producing Child Pornography
BOISE—A federal jury in the District of Idaho returned guilty verdicts today against William Roger Wilkinson, 54, on charges that he sexually exploited an eight-year-old child on three occasions by using her to produce sexually explicit images, U.S. Attorney Wendy Olson announced. The jury also found Wilkinson guilty of possessing child pornography and accessing child pornography with intent to view.
According to the evidence presented at trial, the investigation began in May 2013 after an eight-year-old child disclosed that Wilkinson had taken sexually explicit pictures of her. Lincoln County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Wilkinson in May 2013, and searched his home in Shoshone, Idaho. During the investigation, Wilkinson was released on bond, but a warrant was issued for his arrest after the investigation revealed child pornography on a desktop computer taken from his residence. Wilkinson fled his place of work in Twin Falls, Idaho, when deputies attempted to arrest him on November 2, 2013. The United States Marshal’s Service Fugitive Task Force in Salt Lake City, Utah, arrested Wilkinson on November 12, 2013. The FBI obtained a warrant to search the truck Wilkinson had driven to Utah and found a laptop computer and other evidence.
A forensic examiner from the FBI’s Intermountain West Regional Computer Forensics Lab located images on both the desktop computer and the laptop computer depicting Wilkinson and the eight-year-old child engaging in sexually explicit conduct. That evidence showed that on November 3, 2012, on December 9, 2012, and on March 3, 2013, Wilkinson knowingly used, persuaded, or coerced an eight-year-old child to take part in sexually explicit conduct and produced visual depictions of that conduct. Data imbedded in the digital photos showed that they were taken at Wilkinson’s home in Shoshone, Idaho. The evidence further showed that Wilkinson searched for, and viewed, websites containing child pornography on his desktop computer.
“This defendant engaged in horrific conduct with a young child, all for his own sexual gratification,” said Olson. “The jury’s verdict sends the clear message that Idaho citizens will strongly protect our most vulnerable members, children. I commend the outstanding work of Assistant United States Attorneys Justin Whatcott and Josh Hurwitt, FBI Special Agent Mary Martin and the other FBI agents and Lincoln County deputies for their work on this case.”
Sentencing is set for February 8, 2016. Each of the three counts of sexual exploitation of a minor is punishable by at least 15 and up to 30 years’ imprisonment, a fine of up to $250,000.00, and at least five years up to lifetime of supervised release. The charges of possession of child pornography, and access with intent to view child pornography, each are punishable by up to 20 years’ imprisonment, a fine of up to $250,000.00, and at least five years up to lifetime of supervised release.
As a result of the convictions, the United States will seek to forfeit $179,000, which represents Wilkinson’s interest in his former home and real property where the child pornography was produced. Proceeds from the forfeiture will be used to provide restitution to the eight-year-old child.
The case was investigated by agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Idaho and Utah, and deputies from the Lincoln County, Idaho, Sheriff’s Department and the United States Marshals Service.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals, who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”