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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Connecticut

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Navy Mechanic Sentenced to 210 Years for Sexually Assaulting 7 Young Girls, Producing Child Pornography

RANDALL TILTON, 32, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Jeffrey A. Meyer in New Haven to 210 years of imprisonment for child pornography production offenses related to his sexual of abuse of seven young girls in three states over the course of several years.

According to court documents and statements made in court, on November 1, 2019, Tilton was arrested on state sexual assault charges after he admitted in an interview with Town of Groton Police that he had sexually assaulted several minor victims, and that he had recorded some of the sexual assaults.  Subsequent examination of a laptop, tablet, cellphone and two flash drives seized from Tilton revealed that, beginning in approximately 2014, Tilton sexually assaulted seven girls who were between the ages of four months and eight years old.  Tilton photographed and video recorded many of these sexual assaults.  Some of the images depict a minor victim bound and restrained while Tilton sexually assaulted her.  Tilton distributed some of the videos of these sexual assaults on the dark web through the Tor network.

Tilton’s electronic devices also included thousands of images and videos of the sexual abuse of other minors, including sadomasochistic images of minors in bondage, sexual assaults on infants, and sexual acts on the corpse of a minor.

When he was arrested, Tilton was employed as a forward auxiliary mechanic in the U.S. Navy and was residing in Groton.  The investigation revealed that Tilton sexually assaulted children in Connecticut, New Hampshire and California.

Tilton systematically and repeatedly preyed upon young children for his own sexual pleasure,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Leonard C Boyle.  “And since some of videos of his sexual abuse of one child will likely exist forever on the internet, he has ensured that she will continue to be victimized, every time those images are viewed by others, for the rest of her life.  I commend the FBI, NCIS and Groton Town Police Department investigators for helping to ensure justice for these children and their families, and I thank the New London State’s Attorney’s Office for its close cooperation in the investigation and prosecution of this case.  Their combined effort, and this severe sentence, will undoubtedly protect children from future harm.”

“Today’s sentence will ensure that Mr. Tilton will not be able to inflict physical and emotional pain on our society’s most vulnerable population, said David Sundberg, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  “The horrific nature of these crimes serves as a constant reminder of why we as law enforcement and all residents of this country must do everything we can to protect our children at all times.”

“The Groton community is safer today now that a serial sexual predator who preyed on numerous children, the majority of whom are Navy dependents, has been brought to justice,” said NCIS Northeast Field Office Special Agent in Charge Michael Wiest.  “We offer our heartfelt gratitude to the Groton Town Police Department and the FBI for their substantial efforts to bring resolution to these reprehensible crimes.  NCIS remains committed to working closely with our local and federal law enforcement partners to protect children in the vibrant communities where Department of the Navy personnel live and work.”

“I must emphasize that this case is among the most disturbing and heinous series of acts that any law enforcement officer will ever encounter in their careers,” said Chief Louis J. Fusaro, Jr. of the Town of Groton Police Department.  “It will stay with all of them and the victims for the rest of their lives.  I could not be prouder of the work done by our detectives and investigators who dedicated hundreds of hours conducting interviews of victims, gathering and reviewing digital evidence, and ultimately obtaining a confession from Tilton that would lead to this conviction.  Through the exceptional efforts of these officers and in partnerships with federal agents, the Connecticut Department of Correction and prosecutors from the New London State’s Attorney’s Office and the U. S. Attorney’s Office, this predator will never victimize another child.  I also want to acknowledge the involvement of forensic interviewers from the New London County Child Advocacy Center who played a critical role in this case from the very beginning.  The public should know that through these partnerships and the combined efforts of all involved, that it is a team effort to bring criminals like this to justice.  We hope that the conviction of this predator will help the many victims impacted by his actions to begin the healing process.”    

Tilton has been detained since his arrest.  On December 7, 2020, he pleaded guilty to seven counts of production of child pornography.

This matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the Town of Groton Police Department.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nancy V. Gifford and Amanda S. Oakes.

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.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Updated June 22, 2021