Spokane Valley Man Sentenced to 15 Years for Attempted Production of Child Pornography
Spokane – Joseph H. Harrington, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that James Andrew Joy, age 29, of Spokane Valley, Washington, was sentenced today after having pleaded guilty on April 11, 2018, to Attempted Production of Child Pornography. Chief United States District Judge Thomas O. Rice sentenced Joy to a 15-year term of imprisonment, to be followed by a 20-year term of court supervision after he is released from prison. Upon release from prison, Joy will be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
According to court records, the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) was investigating a user’s profile on the social networking website MeetMe after it appeared the profile was soliciting images of child pornography. SCSO’s investigation, including discovery of Internet Protocol addresses for the suspect account, showed James Joy was using the account. However, Joy had set up the account under an alias name and was purporting to be a 14-year old child.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation joined the investigation and ultimately the two agencies interviewed Joy. Joy admitted he created fictitious MeetMe accounts for the purposes of contacting juvenile females in an effort to have them produce child pornography for him. When investigators asked Joy why he purported to be a 14-year old child in his profiles, Joy explained that if he used his real age he would have been unable to access anyone who was under 18. Joy indicated he contacted “hundreds” of minor-age females in an effort to obtain nude photographs of them, and he succeeded in obtaining photographs from about ten of them. Joy explained that he pursued these minor-age children because it was an adrenaline rush, though he knew it was wrong. In several instances, Joy threatened to distribute the pornographic images he had received to the minor-aged victims' family members and friends through social networking sites unless they produced more. The ages of Joy’s victims ranged from 13 to 16 years old. Joy also used Kik Messenger and Snapchat to communicate with minors.
United States Attorney Harrington said, “This case is a fine example of the great work that can be accomplished when state and federal law enforcement work together. 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.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation Spokane Child Exploitation Task Force in conjunction with the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office. This case was prosecuted by Alison L. Gregoire, an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington.