Former White County Sheriff's Deputy Pleads Guilty to Producing Child Pornography
GAINESVILLE, Ga. – After a jury had been selected on the first day of trial, former White County Deputy Sheriff Christopher Thomas Davis, 32, of Dahlonega, Georgia, pled guilty in federal court to charges of producing child pornography involving a then six-year-old girl. Davis entered his plea during a hearing yesterday before U.S. Senior District Judge William C. O’Kelley. Davis was indicted on these charges by a federal grand jury on September 20, 2011.
United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said, “This Defendant committed the ultimate act of betrayal. He violated the trust of the six-year old victim, who he was charged with protecting, and betrayed the trust of his community by committing this heinous act while employed as sworn law enforcement officer.”
“Child predators targeting the most vulnerable members of our society are a serious problem, and the problem is even more disturbing when it involves someone in a position of public trust,” said Brock D. Nicholson, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations Atlanta. “HSI is committed to arresting individuals who sexually exploit our children and deprive them of their innocence.” Nicholson oversees HSI activities in Georgia and the Carolinas.
According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges, and information presented at the guilty plea: Between May 18, 2009 and June 25, 2009, Davis took photographs of a six-year girl in his custody engaged in sexually explicit conduct. The photographs were taken inside Davis's home in Dahlonega, Georgia. At that time, and at the time of his arrest, Davis was employed as a Sheriff's Deputy with the White County Sheriff's Office. On August 25, 2011, federal agents executed a search warrant at Davis's home where they found several hundred additional images of child pornography on an external hard drive and on a laptop computer.
Davis could receive a maximum sentence of incarceration of 30 years, a total fine of $250,000, and supervised release for life. He will be required to register as a sex offender when released from custody. In determining his actual sentence, the Court will consider the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which are not binding but provide appropriate sentencing ranges for most offenders.
Davis is scheduled to be sentenced before Judge O’Kelley on November 27, 2012 at 10 a.m.
This case is being prosecuted as a priority of the Justice Department's Project Safe Childhood. In February 2006, the Attorney General launched Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorney's Offices around the country, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
This case is being investigated by Special Agents of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.
Assistant United States Attorneys Jill E. Steinberg and Brent A. Gray are prosecuting the case.
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Information Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the HomePage for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia is www.justice.gov/usao/gan.