Arlington Man Sentenced to 10 Years for Receipt of Child Pornography
United States Attorney Deborah R. Gilg announced that Robert A. Sheldon, age 52 of Arlington, Nebraska, was sentenced in federal court in Omaha for receiving child pornography. The Honorable Laurie Smith Camp sentenced Sheldon to the custody of the United States Bureau of Prisons for ten (10) years. There is no parole in the federal prison system. After his release from prison Sheldon will begin a lifetime term of supervised release.
The sentencing stemmed from a routine undercover investigation by the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office Rural Cybercrime Unit (RCU). The RCU discovered child pornography being shared online from an IP address assigned to Sheldon’s residence.
During the execution of a search warrant in February 2012, more than 200,000 sexually explicit images of young children were found on Sheldon’s computer hard-drives. Included in the collection were more than 600 images involving the sexual abuse of children believed to be 1-year-old or younger. In addition, multiple images involved the rape and torture of prepubescent children. To date, this is the largest collection of images discovered by the RCU.
The court imposed a lifetime term of supervised release to commence upon the completion of Sheldon’s 10 year sentence. When imposing the sentence the court observed that Sheldon is a deeply disturbed individual in need of treatment.
United States Attorney Deborah R. Gilg expressed her appreciation to the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office for referring their investigation for federal prosecution. Ms. Gilg noted that the mandatory minimum sentences and the sentencing guidelines for child pornography crimes makes the federal courts a favorable venue for prosecuting the most egregious child pornography offenders such as Mr. Sheldon.
“In numbers of images alone, this was the worst case of online child exploitation discovered by our investigators,” said Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning. “Coupled with the young age of the victims, it’s difficult to put into words the horror of this case. We appreciate U.S. Attorney Gilg’s Office for its cooperation and expert prosecution that brought Mr. Sheldon to justice.”
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 Attorney’s= 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.