Lee county georgia man sentenced to ten years for possession of child pornography
Michael J. Moore, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, announced today that Patrick M. Watson, age 51, of Leesburg, Georgia, was sentenced on Thursday, June 23, 2011, by the Honorable W. Louis Sands, United States District Judge, Albany, Georgia. Watson was sentenced to ten years in prison followed by lifetime supervised release, and ordered to register as a sex offender for possession of child pornography. Watson was further ordered to pay restitution to reimburse the minor victim for costs of psychological counseling.
Watson was indicted on July 22, 2010, for four offenses: 1) production of child pornography; 2) possession of child pornography; 3) witness tampering; and 4) obstruction of justice. Watson pleaded guilty on March 25, 2011, to one count of possession of child pornography. Watson was taken into custody at the time he entered his guilty plea.
Watson stipulated in his plea agreement that he took and possessed lewd and lascivious photographs of the genitals of his nine year old victim. When the photographs were discovered, Watson destroyed the memory card of the camera containing the images, removed and disposed of the hard drive from his personal computer, and attempted to induce the child’s mother not to report the crime to the police.
“With every photograph, this child was victimized; and every time these photos were viewed, she was victimized again. This office will speak up for child victims and will spare no effort to see that those who prey on them go to jail,” said United States Attorney Moore.
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 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEO), 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.
The case was investigated by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office and the United States Secret Service. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Crane. For any additional information, please contact Ms. Sue McKinney, Public Affairs Specialist, United States Attorney’s Office, Macon, Georgia at (478) 621-2602.