You are here

Justice News

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

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Spokane Man Sentenced To Five Years In Federal Prison And Paid $75,000 To The U.S. Marhsal Service For Transportation Of Child Pornography

Spokane - Michael C. Ormsby, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of
Washington, announced that William Roberts, age 64, of Spokane, Washington, was sentenced
today after having previously pleaded guilty to transportation of child pornography. United
States District Court Judge Rosanna Peterson sentenced Roberts to a 5 year term of
imprisonment to be followed by a life term of court supervision after he is released from Federal
prison. In addition, Roberts paid $75,000 to the United States Marshal's Service in lieu of
forfeiting his residence.

According to information disclosed during the court proceedings, in February of 2011,
an FBI Internet undercover investigation discovered that Roberts was sharing images of child
pornography with other individuals, via the Internet, using a peer to peer file sharing program.
On April 6, 2011, FBI Special Agents executed a federal search warrant at Robert's residence in
Spokane, Washington. The FBI agents discovered that Roberts had downloaded child
pornography beginning as early as September of 2003. Although Roberts had installed file
wiping software on his computer, the FBI was able to forensically find in excess of 600 images
of child pornography on the computer. The images included depictions of minors under the age
of twelve and of sadistic and masochist activity. Roberts had transported the images via the
Internet and utilized his residence to facilitate the crime.

Michael C. Ormsby stated, "Prosecuting child pornography crimes is particularly
important for the United States Attorney's Office in the Eastern District of Washington. The
public should understand that my Office and FBI are committed to investigating and
prosecuting aggressively child pornography crimes in this District. Indeed, in addition to jail
time, the appropriate punishment in child pornography crimes may include, as it did in this case,
a significant monetary payment in lieu of forfeiture of a defendant's residence. "

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 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 (PSC) Initiative has five major components:

  • Integrated federal, state, and local efforts to investigate and prosecute child exploitation cases, and to identify and rescue child victims;
  • 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 investigation was conducted by the FBI. The case was prosecuted by Stephanie J.
Lister, an Assistant United States Attorney and PSC Coordinator for the Eastern District of


Updated January 29, 2015