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Press Release

Franklin County Dance Instructor Sentenced To 274 Months And Lifetime Supervised Release In Child Pornography Case

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

NEW BERN - United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker announced that in federal court today BRUCE ARTHUR HOWARD, 55, was sentenced by Federal District Court Judge Louise W. Flanagan to 274 months imprisonment and lifetime supervised release for receipt of child pornography.  HOWARD had been convicted of Taking Indecent Liberties With A Child in Forsyth County in a separate case in 1987.  Prior to his arrest, HOWARD had been employed as a dance instructor in multiple studios, including studios in Zebulon, Wilson, and Knightdale.

The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation developed a lead in August of 2011 that an individual in Louisburg, North Carolina was sharing child pornography over the Internet.  The crime was traced to the defendant’s residence, where detectives executed a search warrant in October 2011 and found numerous images and videos of child pornography.  Subsequent forensic examination demonstrated that HOWARD’s collection included images depicting the sexual abuse of prepubescent children and the sadistic abuse of children.  The investigation further revealed that the defendant had induced a child to create and send pornographic images of the child to the defendant, and had engaged the child in a discussion about engaging in sex acts.   Notwithstanding his prior sex offense, HOWARD was not required to register as a sex offender.

“This case is an excellent illustration of the strong connection between child pornography crimes and the sexual abuse of children,” said U.S. Attorney Thomas G. Walker.  “Child pornography crimes represent a grave danger, both direct and indirect, to the children in our community.  We will continue to make a priority of combating crimes that exploit and abuse children.”

This case was part of the Project Safe Childhood initiative, a national program aimed at ensuring that criminals exploiting children are effectively prosecuted by making full use of all available law enforcement resources at every level.  For more information about this important national project, Project Safe Childhood, go to

Investigation of this case was conducted by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation with the assistance of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.  Prosecution was coordinated with the Franklin County District Attorney’s Office.  Assistant United States Attorney Jay Exum prosecuted the case for the United States. 

Updated July 14, 2015