OPELOUSAS MAN SENTENCED TO 180 MONTHS IN PRISON FOR POSSESSING AND RECEIVING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
LAFAYETTE, La. – United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced that former child psychiatrist Gary Jefferson Byrd, 72, of Opelousas, La., was sentenced on Friday by U.S. District Judge Elizabeth E. Foote to 15 years in prison and 10 years of supervised release for possessing and receiving child pornography.
At the two-day jury trial in October of 2013, witness testimony and documents admitted into evidence established that from February 2008 to April 2011, Byrd ordered 44 compact discs containing videos of child pornography from a Canadian company. United States Postal Inspectors executed a search warrant on Byrd’s home and found stacks of compact discs containing tens of thousands of images of child pornography that Byrd had downloaded from the internet. Byrd had also printed hundreds of images of child pornography that he kept in files in his bedroom.
Byrd was previously convicted in 1992 by a federal jury of possessing child pornography and served 10 years in prison for that crime. Prior to the 1992 conviction, his employment was as a child psychiatrist.
This case is part of Project Safe Childhood, a U.S. Department of Justice launched nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), 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 U.S. Postal Service Investigations conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney John Luke Walker prosecuted the case.