Federal Jury Convicts Registered Sexual Predator Of Attempting To Entice A 14-Year-Old Child To Produce Sexual Abuse Videos Using A Smart Phone
Jacksonville, Florida – Chief United States District Judge Timothy J. Corrigan has sentenced James Thomas Butler II (41, Jacksonville) to 35 years in federal prison for the production, attempted production, and possession of videos and images depicting the sexual abuse of a minor child. Butler was also ordered to serve a 25-year term of supervised release. A federal jury had found Butler guilty in December 2021. Butler was arrested on October 2, 2018, and has been detained since his arrest.
In 2001, Butler was convicted of attempted capital sexual battery and lascivious molestation of minor children in Jacksonville, and since then he has been registered and designated as a sexual predator.
According to court documents and evidence and testimony admitted during the trial, on May 2, 2018, FBI agents and other law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at a residence in Jacksonville where Butler and several other registered sex offenders lived. During an interview with law enforcement, FBI agents obtained a smart phone from Butler. A forensic examination of Butler’s smart phone revealed that it contained sexually explicit videos and images of a minor child that appeared to have been filmed using a camera concealed in a bedroom. Through further investigation, law enforcement was able to identify this child as well as the residence located in north Florida where the camera was concealed. On October 2, 2018, FBI agents and personnel executed a federal search warrant at this residence and discovered that Butler had installed a tiny internet-enabled camera device in an air vent in the child’s bedroom. Butler had wired this hidden camera into the house’s electrical system through the attic and was able to control this camera remotely over the internet using an app on his smart phone, collecting videos, and creating customized, lascivious screenshots of the child. A forensic review of Butler’s smart phone revealed that it contained at least 65 videos and 35 screenshots that depicted the child in various stages of undress.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, and the Duval County School Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney D. Rodney Brown. The forfeiture of assets is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney Mai Tran.
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.