News and Press Releases

GEORGE E. B. HOLDING

CONTACT: 919/856-4530

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

TUESDAY - October 2, 2007

WHITEVILLE MAN SENTENCED FOR CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

RALEIGH – Late Monday afternoon, Senior United States District Judge Earl W. Britt sentenced PHILIP ERIC PERRY of Whiteville, Columbus County, North Carolina, to 180 months’ imprisonment for receipt and possession of images of child pornography downloaded from the internet. The charges relate to conduct that occurred in September of 2003, and arose during an investigation of PERRY’s molestation of numerous children in the Whiteville/Lake Waccamaw area. PERRY admitted to investigators that he had downloaded child pornography from the internet and that he had victimized children of family friends, children who attended his church, and children who attended Anchorage Camp in Lake Waccamaw, where he had worked for years. PERRY pled guilty in Columbus County to four counts of taking indecent liberties with minors in 2004 as a result of some of the molestations.

“This case illustrates in stark terms the fallacy behind the notion that child pornography crimes are victimless, and that the images and videos are ‘just pictures.’ Not only do children have to be raped and abused to produce the material in the first place, but as shown by this case, child pornography acts as fuel for pedophiles’ sexual attraction to children, increasing the likelihood that they will act out on children in our community. Ultimately, the toll of child pornography is counted in terms of innocence lost and lives irreparably damaged. Our office is committed to putting a stop to this crime,” stated George E. B. Holding, United States Attorney.

PERRY was prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood, a national program aimed at ensuring that child exploitation criminals are effectively prosecuted by making full use of all available law enforcement resources at every level, whether state, federal or local. Holding thanked the Office of the Columbus County District Attorney, which, along with the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, presented the case for federal prosecution in 2006. “We cannot succeed in combating this crime without partners like the Assistant District Attorney who reached out to us to alert us to a predator in her community. It is particularly satisfying to see the results of local, federal and state law enforcement presenting a united front in this fight.”

Investigation of the case was led by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Additional support was provided by the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Department. Joe Exum, Jr. prosecuted the case for the United States.

More information about Project Safe Childhood can be found at www.projectsafechildhood.gov

 

News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.

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