Georgia Man Sentenced to 235 Months for attempted Sexual Exploitation of a Minor via the Internet
GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA–Douglas Ray Castleberry, 35, of St. Mary’s, Georgia, was sentenced yesterday in federal court to serve 235 months in prison for using the Internet to attempt to entice a child to engage in sexual activity.
Castleberry was arrested on November 14, 2012, as part of a law enforcement on-line operation conducted in Gainesville, Florida. By means of an Internet website, Castleberry attempted to persuade an 11-year-old child to engage in sexual activity. He then traveled from St. Mary’s to Gainesville with multiple images of child pornography, which he could use to teach the child to commit similar acts. After his arrest in Gainesville, officers examined his cell phone and identified numerous other potential child victims.
Castleberry faced a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years imprisonment with a maximum of life imprisonment. He was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Mark E. Walker to serve 235 months in prison, followed by a term of life on supervised release. In addition, upon his release, Castleberry will be required to register as a sex offender in accordance with state and federal law.
In announcing the sentence imposed by the court, United States Attorney Pamela C. Marsh said, “The growing threat of sexual exploitation crimes committed against children through the Internet is a deplorable trend. My office is committed to the safety and well-being of every child and has placed a high priority on combating sexual exploitation of minors.” U.S. Attorney Marsh also praised the Alachua County Sheriff’s office for their dedicated work, resulting in Castleberry’s arrest and prosecution. She said, “Without their excellent work, this predator might still be lurking on the Internet, threatening to victimize additional children.”
This case was investigated by the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Frank Williams.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched by the Department of Justice in May 2006 to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by United States Attorney’s 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 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.