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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Former Attorney And Therapist Sentenced To 12 Years In Federal Prison For Receiving Child Sexual Abuse Images Using A Popular Online App

Orlando, Florida – U.S. District Judge Roy B. Dalton, Jr. has sentenced John Robert Cooney (54, Orlando) to 12 years in federal prison for receiving images of children being sexually abused using an online social media application (app). The court also ordered Cooney to register as a sex offender and forfeit the electronic devices that he used to commit this offense. 

Cooney had pleaded guilty on March 15, 2021.

According to court documents, on July 7, 2020, Cooney, a former attorney and therapist, received images depicting children as young as 1-2 years old being subjected to sadistic sexual abuse using a popular online messaging app. On August 21, 2020, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Cooney’s home and seized several computers and electronic devices. A forensic review of Cooney’s devices revealed more than 1,800 images and 2,400 videos depicting the sexual abuse of young children. In addition to receiving these images, Cooney was also trading and exchanging online cloud storage links to collections of child sexual abuse materials with other users on this mobile app.

This case was investigated by Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Amanda Daniels.

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.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Updated July 28, 2021