Philadelphia Police Officer Sentenced to 14+ Years in Prison for Distributing Child Pornography While on Duty
PHILADELPHIA – First Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced that James Strohm, 49, of Philadelphia, PA, a 20-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department, was sentenced to 172 months in prison, 20 years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $79,000 in restitution and more than $27,000 in special assessments by United States District Court Judge Gerald A. McHugh for possession and distribution of child pornography.
In July 2019, the defendant pleaded guilty to one count of possession of child pornography and one count of distribution of child pornography. The charges against Strohm stemmed from a tip submitted to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children from a gaming and social networking application about a user account, “fungirl12321,” containing thousands of images depicting child pornography. A phone number and IP address connected to the account were associated with the defendant. Investigators then determined that Strohm was viewing, downloading and distributing child pornography, including during hours when he was officially working as a Philadelphia Police Officer.
“The defendant abused his position of power and trust by distributing images involving the sexual exploitation of children, some as young as infants,” said First Assistant U.S. Attorney Williams. “James Strohm not only committed these crimes from his home, but also, abhorrently, while on duty as a police officer. He will now spend years behind bars where he will be unable to exploit the suffering of children any longer.”
“James Strohm was viewing child sexual abuse material while employed as a police officer, at times even from police workspace,” said Michael J. Driscoll, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Philadelphia Division. “He violated his sworn oath and broke the law in a particularly disturbing way. Today's sentencing sends a message that, no matter who you are, if you're perpetuating the exploitation of children by seeking and trading this horrific content, the FBI will step in, put a stop to it, and see you brought to justice.”
This case is part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce the sexual exploitation and abuse of children.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Meaghan A. Flannery.