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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, April 22, 2016

Child Molester Sentenced to 20 Years In Prison For Online Child Pornography Offense

Ocala, Florida – Senior U.S. District Judge Wm. Terrell Hodges yesterday sentenced Robert Toole (51, Ocala) to 20 years in federal prison for the online receipt of child pornography. Toole pleaded guilty on November 6, 2015.

According to court documents, in 2014, a Marion County Sheriff’s Office investigation into online child pornography resulted in the execution of a search warrant at Toole’s house in Ocala. There, deputies discovered computer equipment that contained more than 10,000 images of child pornography, many involving prepubescent children under the age of 12. In addition, Toole had many images of child pornography that he had taken of himself violating his daughter when she was a child. In powerful testimony during the sentencing hearing, Toole’s daughter described how her father’s conduct had begun when she was as young as three years old, and continued through her teenage years.

“This prosecution lent a voice to one of the many victims of child pornography, and gave closure to a young woman who has carried these wounds for many years,” said U.S. Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III.

“This criminal has committed one of the most heinous crimes imaginable,” said Susan L. McCormick, special agent in charge of HSI Tampa. “Because of the hard work of our HSI special agents, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, this predator will spend the next 20 years in federal prison contemplating his crimes.”

This case was investigated by the Marion County Sheriff’s Office and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Daniel C. Irick.

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 United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), 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.  For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
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Updated April 22, 2016