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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Spokane Man Sentenced to 135 Months in Federal Prison for Possession of Child Pornography

Spokane– Joseph H. Harrington, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced today that Christopher M. Turner, age 45, of Spokane, Washington was sentenced after having pleaded guilty on December 20, 2017, to possession of child pornography. Chief United States District Judge Thomas O. Rice sentenced Turner to 135 months of imprisonment, to be followed by a twenty-year term of court supervision after he is released from Federal prison. Turner will be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

According to information disclosed during court proceedings, a Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”) agent was conducting an online undercover investigation using peer-to-peer software that offenders use to trade and distribute child pornography. During the investigation, Turner’s Spokane residence was identified as a place where someone was distributing images of child pornography. HSI agents obtained a federal search warrant for Turner’s residence.

Law enforcement agents with HSI executed the search warrant at Turner’s residence and seized electronic devices, including a homemade computer that Turner had built. During a forensic examination of that computer, agents identified more than 2,800 images and video files of child pornography. The child pornography on Turner’s electronic devices included images of children under the age of twelve and sadistic, masochistic and violent conduct. Many images on Turner’s electronic devices depicted children previously identified as victims by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (“NCMEC”). In 1993, Turner was convicted in the State of Washington for rape of a child in the second degree and is a registered sex offender.

Joseph H. Harrington said, “The Court’s sentence today should serve as a warning to people who harbor a sexual interest in children – if they collect or trade child pornography, they will be actively pursued by federal and state law enforcement officers. The United States Attorney’s Office will continue to prosecute aggressively child exploitation crimes that occur in the Eastern District of Washington.”

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 www.usdoj.gov/psc. For information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”

Homeland Security Investigations and the Southeast Regional Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force conducted the investigation of this matter. The case was prosecuted by Stephanie J. Lister and David M. Herzog, Assistant United States Attorneys for the Eastern District of Washington.

Press Release Number: 
17-CR-00120-TOR
Updated March 21, 2018