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April 12, 2010

EDNA MAN CONVICTED OF POSSESSION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

(VICTORIA, Texas) – Billy Forrest Marquis Jr., 51, of Edna, Texas, has pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today.

Indicted by a Victoria grand jury on Jan. 21, 2010, Marquis today pleaded guilty before United States District Judge John D. Rainey to possessing child pornography which consisted of images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

At today’s hearing, Marquis admitted that he had previously subscribed to several pay child pornography websites beginning in 2006 and continuing through 2009. During a search executed at his home in Edna on May 5, 2009, agents with Immigration and Customs Enforcement seized a hard drive containing numerous images of child pornography, dozens of which had been previously identified as real victims by the National Center For Missing and Exploited Children. Marquis admitted to subscribing to approximately 10 child pornography websites over the years and to having viewed images of children between eight and 16 years of age.

Marquis has been permitted to remain on bond pending a sentencing hearing set for July 6, 2010. Marquis faces a maximum of 10 years imprisonment for this felony conviction to be followed by any term of years up to a lifetime of supervised release during which the court can impose any number of conditions intended to protect children and prevent Marquis’ use of the internet.

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, 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.

Assistant United States Attorney Lance Duke is prosecuting the case.

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