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Press Release

Sierra Danielle Messer Indicted On Federal Child Pornography Charges

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

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - A federal grand jury has returned a two-count indictment charging Sierra Danielle Messer, 21, of Newport, Tenn., with knowingly distributing and possessing child pornography involving prepubescent minors.  This illegal conduct is alleged to have taken place in June and September 2015.

Messer was arrested on Oct. 8, 2015, in Newport, Tenn., by members of the Knoxville Police Department’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC), with assistance from the City of Newport Police Department.   Following the arrest, an initial appearance was held in U.S. District Court in Knoxville before the Honorable H. Bruce Guyton., U.S. Magistrate Judge, at which the indictment was unsealed and she was apprised of the charges.  Messer pleaded not guilty.  A detention hearing was conducted on Oct. 15, 2015, the result of which is pending.

Details of the charges are outlined in the indictment which is filed as a public record in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Knoxville.

Members of the public are reminded that these are only charges and that every person is presumed innocent until his or her guilt has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit


Updated October 19, 2015

Project Safe Childhood