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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of North Carolina

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Former school teacher sentenced for receipt of child pornography

GREENVILLE – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina announced that in federal court today, Senior United States District Judge Malcolm J. Howard sentenced WILLIAM EDWARDSON, JR., 56, of Jacksonville, North Carolina to 72 months imprisonment, followed by 5 years of supervised release.  The Court also ordered EDWARDSON to register as a sex offender.

EDWARDSON was named in an Indictment filed on September 2, 2015.  On January 11, 2016, EDWARDSON pled guilty to one count of Receipt of Child Pornography (CP).

At the time of his indictment, EDWARDSON was a teacher and soccer coach at Trexler Middle School in Richlands, North Carolina.

In January 2015, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation identified an IP address downloading and sharing child pornography via a peer-to-peer network using the Shareaza law enforcement software program.  As the investigation progressed, the address and user were identified as EDWARDSON.  On February 6, 2015, a search warrant was executed at EDWARDSON’s residence in Jacksonville and a laptop computer and two thumb drives were seized. Forensic examination of the defendant’s computer revealed 424 images and 51 videos containing CP.  EDWARDSON was interviewed and admitted to downloading visual depictions of minor children engaging in sexually explicit conduct. 

Investigation of this case was conducted by the NC State Bureau of Investigation.  Assistant United States Attorney Ethan Ontjes represented the government.  This case was accepted for federal prosecution as part of Project Safe Childhood.

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News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s webpage at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.

Updated July 12, 2016