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Justice News

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

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Lengthy Prison Sentence For Possessing Child Pornography

Michael J. Moore, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, announced the sentencing of Christopher Oates, age 37, a resident of Columbus, Georgia, on November 24, 2014, by the Honorable Clay D. Land, Chief United States District Judge for the Middle District of Georgia, in Columbus, Georgia. 

On September 5, 2014, following a three day jury trial, Mr. Oates was convicted of one count of possession of child pornography.  He was sentenced by Chief Judge Land to serve ten (10) years in prison (120 months), followed by lifetime supervised release. 

In 2012, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), while investigating the distribution of child pornography on the Internet, downloaded several files containing child pornography from an individual on a peer-to-peer file sharing network.  HSI traced the user’s Internet Protocol (IP) address to the Internet service provider, who in turn provided law enforcement with the subscriber’s name and address.

Mr. Oates was later interviewed by HSI Agents and made several incriminating statements.  His computer was seized and later searched pursuant to a valid search warrant.  A forensic examination of Mr. Oates' computer revealed evidence that he had been searching for, viewing, and downloading child pornography.  Numerous videos and images depicting children engaged in sexual acts were discovered on his computer. 

“Child victims are subject to being victimized again and again every time someone views or downloads a photo or video depicting child pornography.  The diligence and good work by Homeland Security helped us get one more criminal away from his computer.  At least for the next 10 years, he won’t be downloading any child pornography,” said United States Attorney Michael Moore.

The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Crawford Seals.

Inquiries regarding this case should be directed to Pamela Lightsey, Public Affairs Specialist, United States Attorney’s Office, at (478) 621-2603.

Updated February 19, 2015