News and Press Releases

Toby Renner Sentenced in U.S. District Cour

Monday, February 02, 2009

Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, announced today that during a federal court session in Missoula, on January 30, 2009, before U.S. District Judge Donald W. Molloy, TOBY RENNER, a 26-year-old resident of Butte, appeared for sentencing. RENNER was sentenced to a term of:

  • Prison: 12 months and 1 day
  • Special Assessment: $100
  • Forfeiture: computer equipment
  • Supervised Release: 10 years

RENNER was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to possession of child pornography.

In an Offer of Proof filed by the United States, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents were investigating allegations of child pornography access by users utilizing the peer-to-peer file sharing network. One investigation involved a person in Butte who had child pornography available via a file sharing program beginning in early 2007. ICE Agents tracked the computer IP address to a residence in Butte where they executed a search warrant on April 17, 2007.

RENNER was the owner of the residence and the computer in question. When questioned, RENNER admitted that he had allowed James Winn to live at the residence, knowing he was a prior convicted sexual offender. RENNER stated that Winn used RENNER'S computer and downloaded child pornography images via the Internet. RENNER admitted that he copied some of the child pornography movies and images from Winn's section of the computer to his own and continued to possess them.

A forensic examination revealed numerous items of child pornography that RENNER possessed during 2006 and 2007 and that RENNER continued to possess until the service of the warrant. The images included children clearly prepubescent and children engaged in sadistic or masochistic abuse or other depictions of violence.

Winn pled guilty to federal charges and is awaiting sentencing.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that RENNER will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, RENNER does have the opportunity to earn a sentence reduction for "good behavior." However, this reduction will not exceed 15% of the overall sentence.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Marcia K. Hurd prosecuted the case for the United States.

The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. In February 2006, the Department of Justice launched Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices, 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 identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit



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