Former Gymnastics Coach Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Knowing Possession of Material Involving the Sexual Exploitation of Minors
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — William James Fitzgerald, 22, of Folsom, was arrested today after a federal grand jury returned a three-count indictment against Fitzgerald charging him with two counts of sexual exploitation of a child and one count of distribution of child pornography, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.
The indictment, brought on Jan. 12, was unsealed today following his arrest.
According to court documents, between October 2020 and May 2022, Fitzgerald exploited two minor victims for the purpose of producing visual depictions of sexually explicit conduct. In January 2022, Fitzgerald distributed child pornography using Snapchat.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Folsom Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Alstyn Bennett is prosecuting the case.
If convicted, Fitzgerald faces a maximum statutory penalty of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute those who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. Click on the “resources” tab for information about internet-safety education.