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Press Release

Scott County Man Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison On Child Pornography Charges

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

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - On May 28, 2021 Preston Andrew Watson, age 30, was sentenced to 30 years in prison for production and distribution of child pornography by the Honorable Katherine A. Crytzer in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Knoxville.  After Watson is released from prison, the United States Probation Office will supervise him for 20 years.  Upon his release from prison Watson will also be required to register with the state sex offender registry in any state in which he lives, works, or attends school.

Watson had previously pled guilty to the charges.  According to documents filed in the case, Watson duped, extorted, and threatened minors located in the United States and abroad to obtain child pornography from his victims. Watson met his victims on social media websites. He developed an online relationship with them and then requested that they send him sexually explicit images of themselves.  Watson threatened to send sexually explicit images of the minors to social media websites if the victims refused to comply with his demands for more sexually explicit images.

The investigation was conducted by the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Knoxville Police Department’s Internet Crimes Against Children unit.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Kolman represented the United States in court.   

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC), 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 Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, PSC 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 PSC, please visit For more information about internet safety education click on the link for “Publications & Resources.”




Rachelle Barnes
Public Affairs Officer
(865) 545-4167

Updated June 2, 2021

Project Safe Childhood