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Press Release

Repeat Offender Sentenced to Prison for Child Pornography

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

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A Springfield man was sentenced today to total of 16 years in prison and a lifetime of supervised release for receipt of child pornography and a supervised release violation.

According to court documents, William Hemphill, 39, admitted that he downloaded thousands of images and videos of child pornography in February and March 2018. Hemphill, who is currently serving a term of federal supervised release as part of his sentence for an earlier 2006 conviction for possession of child pornography, fled from supervision in Virginia in February 2018. He was arrested in Utah aboard a California-bound train in March 2018, in possession of cocaine and several electronic devices, including a laptop computer. A subsequent forensic examination of these devices revealed that Hemphill had used multiple anonymous Internet services to download and view large quantities of child pornography while on the run in Virginia and elsewhere.

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 U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), 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

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Robert Mathieson, U.S. Marshal for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Matthew J. DeSarno, Special Agent in Charge, Criminal Division, FBI Washington Field Office, made the announcement after sentencing by Senior U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III. Assistant U.S. Attorney Whitney Dougherty Russell and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney William G. Clayman prosecuted the case.

This case was initiated and investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office’s Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force, which is composed of FBI Agents, along with Detectives from the Washington Metropolitan Police Department, Fairfax County Police, Arlington County Police, Prince William County Police, Alexandria City Police, Loudoun County Sheriff’s Department, Leesburg Police Department, USMS and other federal Offices of Inspector Generals. Additional assistance in this case was provided by the FBI’s Salt Lake Field Office, the United States Marshal’s Office, and the United States Probation and Pretrial Services in the District of Utah.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Utah provided significant assistance.

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. 1:18-cr-414.


Joshua Stueve
Director of Communications

Updated March 8, 2019

Project Safe Childhood