July 7, 2010
FORMER TEACHER LEARNS THE COSTS OF POSSESSING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
(CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas) – A former teacher has surrendered his teaching license and has been sentenced to prison for possessing child pornography obtained via the Internet, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today.
Billy Forrest Marquis Jr., 51, of Edna, Texas, was sentenced on Tuesday, July 6, 2010, by United States District Judge John D. Rainey to 51 months imprisonment, without parole, to be followed by a life-term of supervised release which includes the requirement that he register as a sex offender. Marquis pleaded guilty to the federal felony offense on April 12, 2010.
At his re-arraignment hearing in April, Marquis admitted he had previously subscribed to several pay child pornography websites beginning in 2006 and continuing through 2009.Marquis was identified as a paid subscriber to various child pornography websites after law enforcement officials shut down the provider’s service and examined their records. On May 5, 2009, Immigration and Customs Enforcement - Homeland Security Investigations agents executed a federal search warrant at Marquis’ home in Edna, Texas, seized a hard drive containing 213 images of child pornography - dozens of which had been previously identified by the National Center For Missing and Exploited Children as real victimized children. Marquis admitted to subscribing to approximately 10 child pornography websites over the years and to having viewed images of children between the ages of eight and 16 years involved in sexually explicit conduct.
In sentencing Marquis to prison, Judge Rainey considered the real and continuing harm done to children whose sexual abuse had been recorded and proliferated on the Internet and the need to protect the public from the potential future dangerousness Marquis presents. That term of imprisonment will be followed by a life-term of supervised release during which the court has ordered Marquis to register as a sex offender and imposed special conditions designed to protect children and limit Marquis’ access to the Internet. Failure to abide by these conditions could result in an additional prison term. Marquis, a former teacher and band director, voluntarily surrendered his teaching license.
Marquis has been permitted to remain on bond pending the issuance of an order to surrender to a Bureau of Prison’s facility to be designated in the near future.
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 U.S. Attorney Lance Duke prosecuted the case.
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