News and Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

WEDNESDAY - April 22, 2009

PREVIOUSLY CONVICTED SEX OFFENDER SENTENCED TO 188 MONTHS

FOR RECEIPT OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

RALEIGH - Today, United States District Court Judge James C. Dever, III, sentenced ZACH LEON SLAUGHTER, 56, of Stovall, North Carolina, to 188 months’ imprisonment and a $5,000 fine for receipt of graphic images child pornography over the Internet. SLAUGHTER, who had previously been convicted of committing a 2nd degree sexual offense against a child under the age of 13 in 1985, pled guilty to the new charge in January.

SLAUGHTER was turned into police in May of 2007 after non-pornographic photographs he had taken of a local child were found to have images of child pornography printed on the reverse side. A search warrant was obtained and executed on SLAUGHTER’s residence, at which time investigators saw an image of child pornography displayed on SLAUGHTER’s computer screen. A subsequent forensic examination of the computer revealed hundreds of images of severe sexual abuse of children, including prepubescent children.

United States Attorney George E.B. Holding responded to news of the sentencing: “This is another case illustrating the direct tie between child pornography and child sex abuse. Not only is sexual abuse of children perpetuated and aggravated by the circulation of child pornography but, as this case illustrates, it also is used to stoke the prurient interests of people who present a very real danger to children. The Court’s sentence shows that he understands the gravity of this crime and the dangers it presents.”

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), 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 to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

Investigation of the case was conducted by the United States Postal Inspection Service and the Granville County Sheriff's Office. Assistant United States Attorney Jay Exum served as prosecutor for the United States, and worked with the Granville County District Attorney’s office in coordinating prosecution of the matter.

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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