David Gene Norton Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour
Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, announced today that during a federal court session in Billings on June 16, 2009, before Senior U.S. District Judge Jack D. Shanstrom, DAVID GENE NORTON, a 46-year-old resident of Billings, pled guilty to receipt of child pornography. Sentencing is set for September 15, 2009. He is currently detained.
In an Offer of Proof filed by the United States, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
On December 15, 2008, deputies from the Yellowstone County Sheriff's Office responded to a report that a fifteen-year-old girl had been sexually assaulted by NORTON at his residence in Shepherd.
During the course of the investigation, the teen reported that NORTON also liked to view child pornography on their home computers. Two computers were seized from NORTON'S residence. A forensic examination revealed several hundred images of child pornography that NORTON had received via the Internet beginning on an unknown date through 2008 and continued to possess until the equipment was seized. NORTON possessed images of children clearly prepubescent and children engaged in sadistic or masochistic abuse or other depictions of violence. Also found were numerous searches for child pornography and incest images that NORTON had conducted.
NORTON faces possible penalties of a mandatory minimum of 5 years in prison and could be sentenced to 20 years, a $250,000 fine and lifetime supervision.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Marcia K. Hurd prosecuted the case for the United States.
The investigation was a cooperative effort between the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Yellowstone County Sheriff's Office and the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation. # # # #
A copy of the Offer of Proof can be obtained by contacting Sally Frank at (406) 247-4638.