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Press Release

Sex Offender Pleads Guilty to Child Exploitation Charge

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Connecticut

Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that SHELDON THOMSON, 35, last residing in Norwich, waived her right to be indicted and pleaded guilty today in New Haven federal court to possession of child pornography.

According to court documents and statements made in court, in 2007, Thomson, who now identifies as female, was convicted in state court of sexual assault in the first degree, involving sexual intercourse with a person under the age of 13, and of risk of injury to a child.  She was released from prison in November 2015 and began serving a term of probation.  In May 2022, Thomson’s state probation officer seized multiple cellphones, a tablet, and a storage card from Thomson, her vehicle, and her residence.  Analysis of the seized devices revealed more than 100 images and videos depicting the sexual abuse of children, including prepubescent children.

Sentencing is scheduled for January 23, 2024, at which time Thomson faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years. The penalties in this matter are enhanced based on Thomson’s prior convictions for sexual assault in the first degree and risk of injury to a minor.

This matter has been investigated by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) with the assistance of the State of Connecticut Office of Adult Probation.  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

To report cases of child exploitation, please visit

Updated October 31, 2023

Project Safe Childhood