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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Worcester Man Pleads Guilty to Child Pornography Charges

BOSTON – A Worcester man pleaded guilty yesterday in U.S. District Court in Worcester to charges of possession of child pornography. 

Peyton Bissell, 22, of Worcester, Mass., pleaded guilty to one count of possession of child pornography.  U.S. District Court Judge Timothy S. Hillman scheduled sentencing for Jan. 28, 2016.

On July 28, 2014, law enforcement officers executed a federal search warrant at Bissell’s residence on Plantation Street in Worcester.  Bissell immediately told law enforcement officers that he knew why they were present and that they would find what they were looking for on a computer in his bedroom.  An initial forensic review of the computer revealed hundreds of videos and images containing child pornography, some of which involved children under the age of 12.  Peyton admitted to searching for and downloading child pornography from peer-to-peer file sharing networks on the Internet. 

The charge of possession of child pornography involving minors under the age of 12 provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, a minimum mandatory term of five years and up to a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of $250,000.  Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties.  Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; Matthew Etre, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; Colonel Richard D. McKeon, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; and Worcester Police Chief Gary J. Gemme, made the announcement.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Grady of Ortiz’s Worcester Branch Office.

The case is brought as part of Project Safe Childhood.  In 2006, the Department of Justice created Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from exploitation and abuse.  Led by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the DOJ’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as identify and rescue victims.  For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit  

Project Safe Childhood
Updated November 5, 2015