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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 20, 2022

Registered Sex Offender Sentenced to Prison for Possessing Images of Child Sexual Abuse

A Virginia man was sentenced today to 15 years in prison followed by a lifetime of supervised release for possessing images of the sexual abuse of children.

Ian Andrew Zearley, 40, of Louisa County, pleaded guilty to possession of obscene visual representations of the sexual abuse of children in July 2021. According to court documents, Zearley committed the offense while on supervised release for a previous conviction for possession of child exploitation materials. Following his prior conviction, law enforcement was monitoring Zearley’s computer usage pursuant to the terms of his supervised release. During the monitoring, law enforcement discovered that Zearley searched terms consistent with child sexual abuse, including “real hardcore child porn” and “boys severely whipped and bleeding.” Zearley also authored two stories that described, in graphic detail, the rape and abuse of young boys. 

When law enforcement thereafter searched Zearley’s house, they found, in his basement, business cards stating Zearley was the president of the “Pedophile Associates of America,” electric shock equipment, pepper spray, a ski mask and pellet gun. Officers also found a list of children’s names, their ages and how Zearley knew each child. Children’s items, such as diapers, bottles and toys were also found, and Zearley’s computer contained eight computer-generated images depicting child sexual abuse.

Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh for the Western District of Virginia made the announcement.

The FBI investigated the case with support from the U.S. Probation Office and the U.S. Marshals Service.

Trial Attorney Charles Schmitz of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) and Assistant U.S. Attorney Kate Rumsey of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia prosecuted the case.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and 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 http://www.justice.gov/psc.

Updated January 20, 2022