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Press Release

Sex Offender Sentenced to 18 Months in Federal Prison for Failing to Register as a Sex Offender

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

Spokane – William D. Hyslop, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that Stephen Williams Knox, age 63, of Spokane, Washington, was sentenced yesterday after having pleaded guilty on October 29, 2020, to Failure to Register as a Sex Offender, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2250(a) and for violating the conditions of his supervised release imposed as a result of a prior conviction for Distribution of Child Pornography, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252A(a)(2)(A), (b)(1).

Senior United States District Judge Wm. Fremming Nielsen sentenced Knox to a 15-month term of imprisonment, to be followed by a 5-year term of court supervision after he is released from federal prison in relation to Knox’s conviction for Failure to Register as a Sex Offender. Senior Judge Nielsen also sentenced Knox to an additional consecutive term of three months of imprisonment and extended Knox’s term of supervised release from 10 years to 20 years for violations of his supervised release conditions imposed as a result of his prior conviction for Distribution of Child Pornography.

According to information disclosed during court proceedings, on October 27, 2015, Knox was sentenced to 60 months imprisonment following his prior conviction for Distribution of Child Pornography. By virtue of his prior federal conviction, Knox was required to register as a sex offender under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act.

Knox commenced his 10 year term of supervised release on July 19, 2019. On January 23, 2020, Knox left the Eastern District of Washington and traveled ultimately to Utah. Knox did not update his sex offender registration in Washington State as required when he left the jurisdiction. Knox was ultimately located in Salt Lake City, Utah on February 21, 2020. Upon his arrest in Salt Lake City, Knox admitted that he left the Eastern District of Washington on January 23, 2020 and went to Idaho, then Montana, and ultimately Utah. Knox further admitted that he did not register as a sex offender in any other jurisdiction after departing Washington.

United States Attorney Hyslop said: “Sex offender registration is an essential tool for keeping our communities safe. The law requires the registration; it cannot be ignored. The sentence imposed by the court promotes community safety, respect for the law and accountability for violating the law. As the United States Attorney, I certainly commend the law enforcement officers with the United States Marshals Service who investigated this case. ”

This case was pursued as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the United States 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. The Project Safe Childhood Initiative (“PSC”) has five major components:

· Integrated federal, state, and local efforts to investigate and prosecute child exploitation cases, and to identify and rescue children;

· Participation of PSC partners in coordinated national initiatives;

· Increased federal enforcement in child pornography and enticement cases;

· Training of federal, state, and local law enforcement agents; and

· Community awareness and educational programs.

For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit For information about internet safety education, please visit and click on the tab "resources."

This case was investigated by the United States Marshals Service. This case was prosecuted by James A. Goeke, an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington.

Updated February 4, 2021

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Press Release Number: No. 2:20-CR-00052-WFN / No. 2:15-CR-00006-WFN