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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Plymouth Man Sentenced to 20 Years After Soliciting Sexual Photos From 14-Year-Old Ohio Girl Over the Internet

RALEIGH, N.C. – Toby Painter, 32, of Plymouth, North Carolina, was sentenced today to 240 months in prison for enticement of a minor.   

According to court documents and statements made in court, on January 22, 2018, a school guidance counselor in West Carollton, Ohio, discovered from another student that a 14-year-old girl had been communicating with and sending nude photos to an adult male.  The guidance counselor informed the victim’s mother, who contacted the West Carollton Police Department. 

On the victim’s phone, investigators found chat history with someone labeled as “daddy” that included nude photographs of the victim.  After the victim provided the name “Toby,” law enforcement identified the defendant Toby Painter based on Facebook contacts and photos exchanged on the phone. 

During an interview, the victim stated that Painter sent her a friend request through SnapChat in December of 2017.  After that, they began communicating on an internet-based chat application.  The victim told Painter she was 14, and he told her he was 29.  After the conversation turned sexual, Painter asked her to send him nude photographs, and she took and sent him approximately 10 nude photos of herself.  He responded by sending her sexually explicit photographs.   

Law enforcement reviewed the victim’s chat history with Painter.  On her phone’s media drive, they recovered roughly a dozen images of herself that constituted child pornography, as well as three sexually explicit images of Painter.  Local investigators then referred the case to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who confirmed Painter’s identity based on Facebook account and IP address records.  Complete chat records confirmed that Painter had requested and received from the victim multiple images that constituted child pornography.

This case is 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 initiative, go to www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

Robert J. Higdon, Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge James C. Dever III. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and West Carollton Police Department (Ohio) investigated the case.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Jake D. Pugh prosecuted the case.

Related court documents and information are located on the website of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina or on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:19-cr-0019-D.

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The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice.  Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.

 

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated December 22, 2020