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Press Release

Madison County Man Sentenced to 30 Years for Production of Child Pornography

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

LEXINGTON, Ky.A Madison County man, Donald Caudy, III, 43, was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison on Friday, by Chief U.S. District Judge Danny C. Reeves, after pleading guilty to one count of using a minor to create visual depictions of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct.

The investigation began in May 2022, when the Michigan State Police were investigating an individual suspected to be involved in crimes involving the possession of child pornography.  While reviewing evidence obtained in that case, law enforcement discovered that the individual from Michigan had received multiple sexually explicit images of the same child, from another individual, and had been involved in chat conversations involving graphic discussion of the sexual assault of children. 

The investigation ultimately revealed that the person responsible for sending the images of the minor and engaging in the graphic chats with the Michigan suspect was Donald Caudy, III, who resided in Madison County, Kentucky.  During a search of Caudy’s electronic devices, multiple sexually explicit images of a four-year-old child were discovered.  The images were the same images that had been distributed to the suspect in Michigan.  Caudy admitted that he was responsible for creating the sexually explicit images and, ultimately, distributing them to the suspect in Michigan. 

 Caudy pled guilty in February 2023.

Under federal law, Caudy must serve 85 percent of his prison sentence.  Upon his release from prison, he will be under the supervision of the U.S. Probation Office for twenty years.

Carlton S. Shier, IV, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky; Rana Saoud, Special Agent in Charge, Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations - Nashville; and Col. Phillip Burnett, Jr., Commissioner of the Kentucky State Police, jointly announced the sentence.

The investigation was conducted by HSI and the KSP.  The United States was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Erin Roth.

This case was prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice.  Led by U.S. Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), 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 to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

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CONTACT:  Gabrielle Dudgeon

PHONE: (859) 685-4887


Updated June 2, 2023

Project Safe Childhood