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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, September 15, 2017

Lawyer Pleads Guilty to Distributing Videos of Child Sexual Abuse

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A Washington, D.C., lawyer pleaded guilty today to distributing videos of child sexual abuse.

According to court documents, Jason Mark Sims, 35, replied to an advertisement placed by an undercover FBI agent on Craigslist. Sims and the undercover agent discussed meeting so that Sims could sexually abuse the undercover agent’s purported 10-year-old daughter. Although Sims ultimately declined to meet the undercover in person, he did provide the undercover with links to videos depicting the sexual abuse of girls as young as 4 years old.

Sims pleaded guilty to distribution of child pornography and faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and a maximum of 20 years in prison when sentenced on December 1, 2017. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Andrew W. Vale, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, made the announcement after Senior U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III accepted the plea. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Laura Fong and Kellen S. Dwyer are prosecuting the case.

This case is 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 www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources” for more information about Internet safety education.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:17-cr-191.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Contact: 
Joshua Stueve Director of Communications joshua.stueve@usdoj.gov
Updated September 18, 2017