News and Press Releases

Columbia County Man Pleads Guilty In Federal Court To Receiving Child Pornography Over The Internet

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 13, 2013

Jacksonville, Florida – Acting United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announced today that John George Sessine (58, Lake City) has pleaded guilty in United States District Court, in Jacksonville, to receiving images and videos depicting the sexual abuse of minor children over the Internet.  He faces a mandatory minimum penalty of not less than 5 years, up to 20 years in federal prison, a potential life term of supervision, and will be required to register as a sex offender.  The court also forfeited his computer media, which was traceable to the offense.  Sessine has been in custody since his arrest on June 5, 2013.  A sentencing date has not yet been set.

According to court documents, on June 5, 2013, FBI agents and other law enforcement officers executed a federal search warrant at a residence occupied by Sessine, in Lake City, Florida.  The FBI had previously learned that at least one computer using an Internet Protocol (IP) address resolved to that residence was sharing videos of child pornography over the Internet.  Sessine was at the residence and was interviewed by the agents.  During an interview, Sessine stated, among other things, that he used a particular file sharing program to download images and videos, that his preference was for young females, and that the youngest child on his computer was 10 or 12 years old.  A forensic analysis of Sessine’s computer media revealed that Sessine had collected 107 images and 104 videos of minor children being sexually abused. 

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.  It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney D. Rodney Brown.

It is another 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."


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