Teacher Indicted for Possessing Child Pornography
Middle-School Teacher Allegedly Purchased DVDs Containing
Sexually Explicit Images of Children
ATLANTA - William Villemez, 30, of Smyrna, Georgia, was arraigned in federal court today before United States Magistrate Judge Justin S. Anand on charges that he received and possessed child pornography. A federal grand jury indicted Villemez on these charges on November 27, 2012. Villemez remains released on bond.
“Child pornography exploits the most innocent and vulnerable members of society,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “It is particularly disturbing that a teacher is charged with purchasing and downloading sexually explicit images of children.”
“The charges in this case are like so many other investigations by Postal Inspectors, where a child was sexually abused and then the images of the abused were shared over and over again. Sadly, each person viewing those images is responsible for further victimizing that child. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service works closely with the U.S. Attorney's Office and its law enforcement partners to investigate occurrences of child exploitation so everyone involved in this unspeakable crime are held responsible,” said Keith Morris, Postal Inspector in Charge of the Atlanta Division.
“The assistance our Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes Unit provided to the United States Postal Inspection Service in this investigation is an affirmation of the GBI’s commitment to provide our resources whenever and wherever necessary to help state, local, and federal agencies identify and prosecute those involved in the child porn trade,” said Vernon Keenan, GBI Director.
According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges and other information presented in court: Between July 2008 and March 2011, Villemez allegedly ordered 32 DVDs containing images of child pornography and child erotica from a website based outside the United States. Villemez spent more than $750 for those DVDs. Ultimately law enforcement traced those orders to Villemez’s home in Smyrna, Georgia. When a search warrant was executed at Villemez’s home in October 2012, agents discovered that he had downloaded child pornography onto his computer. During the period that he was receiving these DVDs in the mail and downloading computer images of child pornography, Villemez taught drama and dance to middle-school students at a school in Atlanta.
The charge of receiving child pornography carries a mandatory minimum confinement period of 5 years and a maximum term of 30 years in prison. The charge of possessing child pornography carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. Both charges carry a fine of up to $250,000 and a period of supervised release from 5 years to life. In determining the actual sentence, the Court will consider the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which are not binding but provide appropriate sentencing ranges for most offenders.
Members of the public are reminded that the indictment only contains charges. The defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government's burden to prove the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
This case is being brought as part of 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. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
This case is being investigated by United States Postal Inspection Service with assistance from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Cobb County Police Department.
Assistant United States Attorneys Paul R. Jones 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.