FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
TUESDAY - March 18, 2008
BRUNSWICK COUNTY MAN RECEIVES OVER 19 YEARS IN PRISON
FOR CHILD PORNOGRAPHY CHARGES
RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E. B. Holding announced that in federal court yesterday Senior United States District Court Judge W. Earl Britt sentenced COLLIER DOUGLAS SESSOMS, 32,of Brunswick County, North Carolina, to 235 months’ imprisonment and a $5,000 fine for transmitting child pornography and obscene materials over the Internet. SESSOMS pled guilty to the charges in December of 2006.
SESSOMS’ criminal conduct was reported to North Carolina authorities when he sent child pornography to a Bergen County, New Jersey detective acting in an undercover capacity. SESSOMS, who in his online chats with the undercover agent expressed his sexual interest in children under the age of 13, later spoke with the same detective by telephone and stated during a recorded telephone call that he had sexually abused two young boys.
The New Jersey detective contacted North Carolina authorities and worked with the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to conduct further investigation. State and federal officials executed a search warrant on SESSOMS’ residence and conducted a forensic examination of his computer equipment, revealing a substantial collection of child pornography. Both SESSOMS’ child pornography collection and his sexual abuse of children were accounted for in the court’s imposition of sentence. The family of the abused children were permitted to address the court at sentencing.
United States Attorney George E.B. Holding was pleased with the result. “It is impossible for a case like this to have a happy ending, but I hope that the family of the victims can carry away from today’s sentencing some sense of justice being brought to bear. We will continue to fight child pornography and child sexual abuse so that others will not have to face the pain that this family has endured.”
Holding also thanked law enforcement for their coordination of the investigation: “I am once again fortunate enough to be able to thank a police officer I have never met, and who has no ties to our district, for taking on the responsibility of alerting local authorities about this defendant’s conduct and the potential danger he posed when he could have looked the other way to focus on things he had to do closer to home. And needless to say, I am proud of the job our state, local and federal law enforcement officials did in responding promptly and professionally to that detective’s lead.”
SESSOMS was prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood, a national program aimed at ensuring that criminals who sexually exploit and abuse children are effectively prosecuted by making full use of all available law enforcement resources at every level. For more information about this important national project, go to www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
Investigation of the case was led by the Bergen County, New Jersey Police Department, the State Bureau of Investigation, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Jay Exum handled the case for the United States with the assistance and consultation of the office of the Brunswick County District Attorney.
News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.