News and Press Releases

Lester Mathews Sharpton Sentenced in U.S. District Cour

Thursday, December 01, 2011

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Great Falls, on December 1, 2011, before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, LESTER MATHEWS SHARPTON, age 59, appeared for sentencing. SHARPTON was sentenced to a term of:

Prison: 144 months

Special Assessment: $100

Supervised Release: life

SHARPTON was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to viewing child pornography.

In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Cyndee L. Peterson, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:

On September 20, 2010, a person from the Choteau Public Library called the Teton County Sheriff's Office to report a man looking at inappropriate pictures of minor boys on the library's computer. The witnesses later described seeing child pornography (9 to 14-year-old boys fully nude) on the computer screen. Law enforcement officers subsequently determined SHARPTON was the man on that computer in the library. The library computer log showed SHARPTON logging in on that computer at approximately 6:30 p.m.and logging out at approximately 8:00 p.m.

After his arrest, deputies determined SHARPTON was a registered sexual offender (1997 New Mexico conviction for molestation of a child under the age of 13).

The computer was seized and forensically examined. The examiner found child pornography image files as well as child pornography video files on the library computer. The images and videos show visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. The images were a result of Internet activity on September 20, 2010, from approximately 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., and the video files were created on the same day at approximately 7:30 p.m. Internet Explorer records on the library computer included search terms indicative of one seeking child pornography ("underage gay boy pics").

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

The investigation was a cooperative effort between the U.S. Homeland Security Investigations and the Teton County Sheriff's Office.



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