August 24, 2009
REGISTERED SEX OFFENDER SENTENCED TO 15 YEARS FOR DISTRIBUTING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
(HOUSTON) - Michael McWashington, 41, a convicted registered sex offender, was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison without parole for distributing child pornography followed by a lifetime term of supervised release, United States Attorney Tim Johnson announced today. McWashington was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Lynn N. Hughes earlier today. This sentence also includes 10 years in federal prison for an additional count of possession of child pornography to run concurrently with the distribution of child pornography sentence.
The charges against McWashington are the result of an investigation conducted by members of the FBI’s Cyber Squad Innocent Images Unit dedicated to investigating online exploitation of children and child pornography. McWashington came to the attention of law enforcement during an undercover investigation involving Peer-to-Peer software programs commonly used for acquiring, distributing and trading child pornography. Using Peer-to-Peer software McWashington made available on line multiple images and videos containing child pornography. One of the videos distributed to law enforcement depicts a nude female under the age of six performing oral sex on an adult male.
As a result of the execution of a federal search warrant McWashington’s home, FBI agents seized computers and external hard drives. A forensic exam of the seized items found approximately 100 images and 13 videos containing child pornography, some of which included victims under the age of 12 and portrayed sadistic or masochistic conduct or other depictions of violence. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children was sent a copy of the images and found images of known victims depicted in the images.
Because of a previous sexual assault of a child conviction in 1992 in Harris County, Texas, McWashington received an enhanced penalty of 15 years on the distribution conviction and 10 years on the possession conviction. Upon completion of the prison term, McWashinton will serve a lifetime term of supervised release during which the court can impose a number of special conditions designed to protect children and prohibit the his use of the Internet including that he continue to register for life as a sex offender.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices, 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.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sherri L. Zack.
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