June 10, 2010
FORMER UTPA PROFESSOR SENTENCED FOR RECEIVING THOUSANDS OF IMAGES OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY VIA THE INTERNET
(McALLEN, Texas) - Brian S. Butler, a former University of Texas-Pan American Professor, has been sentenced to prison for receiving child pornography, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today.
Chief U.S. District Judge Ricardo Hinojosa sentenced Brian S. Butler, 51, of McAllen, Texas, on Wednesday, June 9, 2010, to 70 months in federal prison without parole to be followed by a five-year-term of supervised release. Butler, who has been in federal custody since his Feb. 28, 2007, arrest, will remain in federal custody to serve his sentence. Following his release from prison, the court has ordered Butler to register as sex offender as required by state and federal law.
Butler was convicted of receiving child pornography on May 4, 2007, after admitting he accessed a child pornography website and downloaded images and videos of child pornography onto his home computer. A forensic examination of Butler’s home computers and external storage media, which were seized by FBI agents in February 2007, found more than 6,000 still images and more than 200 video clips of child pornography. The still images and video clips depicted adults engaged in various sexual acts with children ranging in age from seven to 10 years old with several images involving children less than five years of age.
In deciding upon the applicable guideline range and ultimately the sentence he handed down, Chief Judge Hinojosa considered the size and nature of Butler’s collection of child pornography, which included images of children under the age of 12 and images and videos that portrayed sadistic and masochistic conduct. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children identified numerous known child victims within Butler’s child pornography collection. Two of the identified victims in the collection had been abused by relatives, who, in turn, placed images and videos of the sexual abuse of these children on the Internet. Butler’s collection included images of that sexual abuse. Each of the two victims, through their legal respective representatives, provided the court with letters and statements establishing the harm caused by those who download and received child pornography. These letters and statements were instrumental in convincing the court restitution was appropriately ordered in this case. Butler is to pay restitution in the amount of $1,750 to the two child victims depicted in his child pornography collections.
This case, investigated by the FBI and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, was brought as a part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the 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 identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafetchildhood.gov.
Assistant United States Attorneys Alex C. Lewis and Juan F. Alanis prosecuted the case.
# # #