Jacksonville, Florida – A federal jury has found James Thomas Butler II (41, Jacksonville) guilty of production, attempted production, and possession of child sexual abuse materials. In 2001, Butler was convicted of attempted capital sexual battery and lascivious molestation of a minor, and he has since been registered and designated as a sexual predator. Because of his prior child sex convictions, Butler now faces enhanced penalties of not less than 25 years, and up to 70 years, in federal prison, and a potential life term of supervised release. His sentencing hearing has not yet been scheduled.
According to court documents as well as evidence and testimony during the trial, on May 2, 2018, FBI agents and other law enforcement officers executed a federal search warrant at a residence in north Jacksonville where several sex offenders and sexual predators resided, including Butler. During an interview with law enforcement, FBI agents obtained a smart phone from Butler. A forensic examination of Butler’s phone revealed pornographic videos and images of a minor child that appeared to have been filmed using a camera concealed in the child’s bedroom. Through further investigation, law enforcement identified the child and the residence in Jacksonville where Butler had concealed the camera. On October 2, 2018, FBI agents and personnel executed a federal search warrant at this residence and also arrested Butler.
A search of the residence revealed that Butler had installed a tiny internet-enabled camera device in an air vent in the child’s bedroom and had wired the camera into the house’s electrical system through the attic. Butler was able to control this camera remotely using his smart phone, collecting videos and creating customized screenshots of the child. Butler’s smart phone contained at least 65 videos and 35 screenshots that depicted the child in the child’s bedroom.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, and the Duval County School Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney D. Rodney Brown.
This is another case 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. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.