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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Worcester Man Pleads Guilty to Child Pornography Offense

Defendant previously convicted of possessing child pornography; possessed homemade child-like sex doll

BOSTON – A Worcester man pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court in Worcester to possessing child pornography.

James M. Stoddard, 38, pleaded guilty to one count of possession of child pornography. U.S. District Court Judge Timothy S. Hillman scheduled sentencing for Jan. 3, 2019. Stoddard was arrested and charged in federal court in June 2018.

In February 2018, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children received a CyberTip reporting that a file depicting apparent child pornography was uploaded from, what was later determined to be, an IP address associated with Stoddard. Further investigation led authorities to execute a state search warrant at Stoddard’s residence in Worcester, which revealed numerous videos and images of child pornography, including videos of girls as young as nine-years-old engaged in sex acts with adult men. Investigators also found a homemade child-like sex doll and several pairs of female, child-sized undergarments.    

During the search, Stoddard was not present, but had contacted his first-floor tenant for a law enforcement phone number that he could contact. Stoddard then called an officer and informed him that he was in Natick, suicidal, and had climbed a tree. Multiple law enforcement agencies responded to Stoddard’s location and, after lengthy negotiations, Stoddard climbed down from the tree. He was subsequently arrested, charged in state court, and has been in state custody since.

Court documents also indicate that Stoddard is a Level 1 sex offender and failed to register his current address with the Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry Board as he is required to do given a prior conviction for a child pornography offense.

Due to a prior conviction, Stoddard faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and up to 20 years in prison, a minimum of five years and up to a lifetime of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Worcester Police Chief Steven M. Sargent made the announcement. The Worcester County District Attorney’s Office and the Natick Police Department provided valuable assistance. Assistant U.S. Attorney Bill Abely of Lelling’s Worcester Branch Office is prosecuting the case.

This case was 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 DOJ’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov/.

 

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Updated October 2, 2018