Last updated: July 26. 2014 9:11AM - 135 Views

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COLUMBIA — James A. Newton, 54, of Easley, pleaded guilty last Wednesday in federal court in Anderson to possession of child pornography.


United States District Judge Timothy M. Cain accepted the plea and will sentence Newton once a pre-sentence investigation report has been prepared by the U.S. Probation Office.


Evidence presented at the change of plea hearing established that on April 17, 2013, an agent with the Department of Homeland Security, Office of Investigations, was conducting an investigation of individuals sharing child pornography, U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles said in making the announcement.


The agent logged onto a peer-to-peer file sharing program and downloaded child pornography from a user in Easley. Further investigation revealed that this IP address was associated with Newton’s residence.


On July 9, 2013, agents executed a federal search warrant at his residence. Multiple computers and storage devices were seized. Newton had 121 child porn videos and 2,517 still images—that is, images and videos of minors under the age of 18 engaged in sexually explicit conduct and the lascivious display of the genitals. Some of the minors had not attained the age of 12 and were prepubescent.


The case was investigated by agents of the Department of Homeland Security, Office of Investigations. Assistant U.S. Attorney Bill Watkins of the Greenville office handled the case.


This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys Offices, 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 identify and rescue victims. For more information, visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

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