Hartford Man Charged with Child Exploitation Offense
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Connecticut
Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Michael J. Krol, Acting Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), New England, today announced that JONATHAN WILLIAMS, 32, of Hartford, was arrested yesterday on a federal criminal complaint charging him with a child exploitation offense.
As alleged in court documents, HSI has been investigating a network of individuals who have been using private groups on an internet chat application to share images and videos of child sexual abuse. The investigation revealed that an account associated with Williams was an active member of one of these groups, and that Williams was convicted in 2015 in North Carolina of sexual exploitation of a minor in the third degree.
On June 1, 2023, investigators conducted a court authorized search of Williams’ residence. Williams was arrested after a preliminary review of his laptop revealed videos of child sex abuse.
The complaint charges Williams with receipt of child pornography. If convicted of the charge, Williams faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 15 years and a maximum term of imprisonment of 40 years. The penalties in this matter are enhanced based on Williams’ prior conviction in North Carolina.
Williams appeared yesterday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert A. Richardson in Hartford and was ordered detained.
U.S. Attorney Avery stressed that a complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This matter is being investigated by HSI with the assistance of the Connecticut Center for Digital Investigations, the Connecticut State Police, and the Hartford and Westport Police Departments. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel E. Cummings.
This prosecution is part of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood Initiative, which is aimed at protecting children from sexual abuse and exploitation. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.
To report cases of child exploitation, please visit www.cybertipline.com.
Updated June 12, 2023
Project Safe Childhood