File-Sharing Programs Snare Two Distributors of Child Pornography
ATLANTA – Two men were arraigned in federal court in two unrelated cases on charges that they received, possessed, and distributed child pornography using peer-to-peer file sharing programs. Justin Corley, 32, of Newnan, Georgia, is charged with one count of distributing child pornography, one count of receiving child pornography, and one count of possessing child pornography. Bruce Bolton, 32, of Atlanta, Georgia, is charged with two counts of distributing child pornography, one count of receiving child pornography, and one count of possessing child pornography. A federal grand jury charged the defendants in two separate indictments on December 4, 2012.
“Child pornography preys on the most innocent and defenseless members of society,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “These men are charged with contributing to the victimization of those children by receiving and distributing child pornography over the Internet. The prosecution of these two cases reflects our continued commitment to end this cycle of victimization.”
“While some may mistakenly believe that simply downloading and possessing child pornography is a victimless crime, the facts clearly state otherwise,” said Brock D. Nicholson, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations - Atlanta. “Not only are these children victimized all over again by the distribution of this material, these products also create a perverse incentive for other child predators to victimize innocent children. Homeland Security Investigations will continue to pursue child predators wherever they seek to operate, but they will not be allowed to hide behind the anonymity of the Internet.”
According to United States Attorney Yates the alleged charges and other information presented in court or contained in public documents reflect the following:
- In January 2012, Justin Corley was working as a firefighter in Union City, Georgia, and was logged on to the Internet through the fire station’s Internet service. Special Agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations found that Corley had a file-sharing program open where he allegedly was offering to share images of child pornography to like-minded individuals. A search warrant executed in February 2012, revealed that he had not only distributed child pornography, but had received and possessed it as well.
- Bruce Bolton also allegedly used a file-sharing program to distribute child pornography. When a search warrant was executed at his residence in December 2011, agents discovered that Bolton had numerous videos of child pornography on his computer.
The charges of distributing and receiving child pornography each carry 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. Each charge carries 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 indictments only contain charges. Each 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.
These cases are 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.
These cases are being investigated by special agents of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.
Assistant United States Attorney Brent A. Gray is prosecuting Justin Corley and Assistant United States Attorney Cassandra Schansman is prosecuting Bruce Bolton.
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.