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Press Release

William Ellis Sentenced To 10 Years For Enticement Of A Minor To Engage In Sexual Activity

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

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. – On April 15, 2021, William Charles Ellis, 51, currently of Jonesborough, Tennessee, was sentenced by the Honorable R. Leon Jordan, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Knoxville. 

As part of the plea agreement filed with the court, Ellis agreed to plead guilty to enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2422(b).  Ellis was sentenced to 120 months in prison, followed by 15 years of supervised release.  Ellis will be required to register with state sex offender registries and comply with special sex offender conditions during his supervised release.        

In August 2019, Ellis used an online dating application to communicate with a person that he believed to be a 15-year-old minor female.  The “minor female” was an FBI agent working an online covert investigation.  Ellis sent sexually explicit photos to the minor female and requested that she send sexually explicit photos and videos to him.  The FBI identified the defendant, obtained a search warrant for his cellular phone, and questioned him.  During questioning, Ellis admitted to communicating with a person that he believed to be an underage female and asking her to send him pornographic videos.  The FBI searched Ellis’ phone and found numerous files containing child pornography. 

The criminal indictment was the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 

Assistant United States Attorney Emily Swecker represented the United States.

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, please visit and click on the tab resources.



Rachelle Barnes
Public Information Officer
(865) 545-4167

Updated April 15, 2021

Project Safe Childhood