District Man Sentenced to 37 Months in Prison For Possession of Child Pornography
WASHINGTON – Cole Christian, 33, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to 37 months in prison after earlier pleading guilty to possession of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu, Nancy McNamara, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, and Peter Newsham, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).
Christian pled guilty in May 2018, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, to a charge of possession of child pornography. The plea, which was contingent upon the Court’s approval, called for an agreed-upon prison term of 37 months. The Honorable Rudolph Contreras accepted the plea and sentenced Christian accordingly. Following his prison term, Christian will be placed on 10 years of supervised release. He also must register as a sex offender for 15 years.
According to the government's evidence, on Dec. 23, 2016, Christian contacted an undercover officer with the FBI's Child Exploitation Task Force, through a social network site. Christian continued communications with the undercover officer over the next several months. In May 2017, he began sending images of child pornography to the undercover officer.
Christian was arrested on Aug. 4, 2017, and has been in custody ever since. Numerous electronic devices were seized by law enforcement during a search of his home, and the images of child pornography sent to the undercover were found on those devices.
This case was brought as part of the Department of Justice's Project Safe Childhood initiative and investigated by the FBI's Child Exploitation Task Force, which includes members of the FBI's Washington Field Office and MPD. In February 2006, the Attorney General created Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorney's 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.projectsafechildhood.gov.
In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Liu, Assistant Director in Charge McNamara, and Chief Newsham commended the work of those who investigated the case from the FBI's Child Exploitation Task Force, which includes members of the FBI's Washington Field Office and MPD’s Youth Investigations Division. They acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brenda Johnson and Jason Park, Paralegal Specialist Michelle Wicker, and Criminal Investigator John Marsh.
Finally, they commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrea L. Hertzfeld, who prosecuted the case.