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FORMER CITY OF LITTLE ROCK IT EMPLOYEE SENTENCED IN CHILD PORNOGRAPHY CASE

June 2, 2011

Little Rock - Christopher R. Thyer, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, announced Joel Walker, age 57, of Little Rock, Arkansas, was sentenced by Chief United States District Judge J. Leon Holmes to 48 months imprisonment followed by supervised release of ten years for Possession of Child Pornography.

"The protection of our children is paramount in the work this office conducts. Those who think they aren't harming anyone by purchasing and trading child pornography are ignoring the fact that for every picture they view, a child was victimized," stated Thyer. "Through Project Safe Childhood, we will work with our law enforcement partners at every level to pursue justice for these children."

On September 9, 2008, the Little Rock Police Department (LRPD) opened an investigation after a LRPD Captain informed a LRPD detective that he had found a thumbdrive and a Micro SD card adapter attached to his office computer's USB drive. The Captain advised it was not his property and while attempting to find the owner's identity on the media, observed images of young girls engaged in sexually explicit conduct. The detective reviewed the video and determined it was of a known child pornography victim. The Captain advised that the only other person that worked on his computer was Joel Walker, who was employed with the IT department of the City of Little Rock.

A search warrant was obtained for Joel Walker's residence. In addition to the child pornography found on the thumbdrive, images of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct were found in Walker's office, at his current residence and at his former residence Images of cartoons of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct were found on a CD in his car. Detectives also discovered erotic stories of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

At the sentencing hearing, the District Judge sentenced Walker to ten years supervised release following incarceration, citing Walker's addiction to child pornography and the stories he wrote about minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct. The Court ordered, in addition to ten years supervision, that Walker undergo intensive sex offender therapy, that he register as a sex offender and that he forfeit his computer equipment.

The case is a result of an investigation by Little Rock Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Marsha W. Clevenger prosecuted this case for the United States.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led 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.

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Christopher R. Thyer

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