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Press Release

Lookout Mountain Man Indicted For Sexual Exploitation Of Children

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

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - On June 5, 2024, a federal grand jury in Knoxville returned a three-count indictment against James C. Thompson, 71, of Lookout Mountain, Tennessee, for transporting minors with the intent to engage in sexual activity.  Thompson appeared in court today before the Honorable United States Magistrate Judge Christopher H. Steger and entered a plea of not guilty to the charges in the indictment.  He is in custody pending trial, which has been set for August 12, 2024, in United States District Court, in Chattanooga, Tennessee, before the Honorable Travis R. McDonough, United States District Judge.

The indictment alleges that Thompson transported minors in interstate commerce intending to engage in sexual activity with them in November and September 2000. 

If convicted, Thompson faces a maximum term of 15 years in prison, up to a $350,000 fine, and 3 years on supervised release.

U.S. Attorney Francis M. Hamilton III of the Eastern District of Tennessee made the announcement.

The FBI believes there may be additional victims and is attempting to identify them.  Potential victims most likely include males who were between the ages of 10 and 15 and may have been involved in various youth wrestling programs or youth hunting organizations.  They or anyone else who believes that they were victimized by Thompson, or anyone who may have information about potential victims fitting this description can contact the Chattanooga FBI Office at 423-265-3601 or report it at

This indictment is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Jackson County, Alabama Sheriff’s Office, and the Lookout Mountain, Tennessee Police Department. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney James Brooks represents the United States. 

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.  Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims.  For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit or for more information about Internet safety education, please visit and click on the tab "resources."

Members of the public are reminded that an indictment constitutes only charges and that every person is presumed innocent until their guilt has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.



Rachelle Barnes
Public Affairs Officer
(865) 545-4167

Updated June 7, 2024

Project Safe Childhood