U.S. Attorney's Office
Middle District of Florida
(813) 274-6000
September 30, 2014

Largo Man Sentenced to More Than Eight Years for Accessing and Viewing Child Pornography

TAMPA, FL—U.S. District Judge Virginia M. Hernandez Covington yesterday sentenced Eric Thomas (37, Largo) to eight years and one month in federal prison for accessing with the intent to view child pornography. Thomas was indicted on September 25, 2013. A federal jury found him found guilty on June 12, 2014.

According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, on July 21, 2012, Thomas’s then wife discovered evidence that he had been using the couple’s home computer to look at child pornography on the Internet. She notified law enforcement. A subsequent search and forensic analysis of the computer revealed that more than 850 images of child pornography had been deleted from the computer. Thomas had taken considerable steps to conceal his activities and remove Internet history and child pornography files from his computer.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Largo Police Department, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Jennifer L. Peresie and Josephine W. Thomas.

It is another case 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 (CEOS), 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.projectsafechildhood.gov.

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