Columbus Businessman Pleads Guilty to Possessing Child Sexual Abuse Material
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Georgia
COLUMBUS, Ga. –A Columbus, Georgia, resident admitted to possessing child sexual abuse material (CSAM) and faces a maximum of 20 years in prison resulting from an investigation by GBI.
Edward Sprouse Boyd, Sr., 49, pleaded guilty to one count of possession of child pornography before U.S. District Judge Clay Land on Oct. 24. Boyd faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison to be followed by a maximum lifetime of supervised release and a $250,000 fine. In addition, Boyd will have to register as a sex offender upon release from federal prison. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 23, 2024. The defendant is not eligible for parole.
“Our office will hold accountable those who possess, distribute or create child sexual assault material, content which profoundly harms kids,” said U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary. “I want to commend the GBI for their dedicated and ceaseless efforts to protect children and bring predators to justice.”
“This case serves as a strong reminder of our commitment to protecting children from the atrocities of child sexual abuse. These acts against innocent children will not be tolerated in any capacity and our Child Exploitation & Computer Crimes Unit will continue to work with our local, state and federal partners for the protection of our children,” said GBI Director Chris Hosey.
According to court documents and evidence, the social media platform MeWe submitted several cybertips to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) concerning uploads of suspected child sexual assault material (also known as child pornography). The matter was referred to GBI, which determined that the user of the MeWe account was Boyd. A search of Boyd’s MeWe account uncovered CSAM material, including images of fully nude minor females around the age of puberty with their breasts and vaginas exposed, as well as child-centric sexually explicit chats with other users.
A search warrant was executed at Boyd’s home on Aug. 20, 2020. Eighteen electronic devices were seized during the execution of the warrant, to include a cell phone belonging to Boyd. A forensic examination of his cell phone revealed that it contained 5,047 images and 1,157 videos categorized as child abuse material plus 10,643 images and 1,013 videos categorized as child exploitative/age difficult. The images and videos were submitted by the GBI to the NCMEC to both confirm any previously identified minor victims and to enter any unidentified minor victims into their database for possible future identification. The NCMEC identified 125 image files and 30 video files, spanning 82 series.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the 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.
The case was investigated by the GBI, with assistance from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Crawford Seals is prosecuting the case for the Government.
Updated October 25, 2023
Project Safe Childhood