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Press Release

Walton County Man Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison for Possessing Child Sexual Abuse Material

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Georgia

ATHENS, Ga. – A Walton County, Georgia, resident was sentenced to serve 15 years in prison after he was convicted by a federal jury in February of possessing child sexual abuse material (CSAM) resulting from a GBI-led undercover investigation of an online peer-to-peer sharing network.

Johnathan Remsen, 38, of Loganville, Georgia, was sentenced to serve 180 months in prison to be followed by 25 years of supervised release by U.S. District C. Ashley Royal today after he was found guilty of possession of child pornography on Feb. 1. Remsen will have to register as a sex offender for life upon release from prison. Remsen is not eligible for parole.

“Our office will not hesitate to use the federal resources at our disposal to hold individuals accountable for downloading, sharing, creating or contributing to the sexual abuse and exploitation of children,” said U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary. “Every time a person views child sexual abuse material, they become complicit in the appalling abuse of a child. Working with our dedicated law enforcement and community partners, we will do everything in our power to protect the innocent and bring child predators to justice.”

“The victimization of a child doesn’t end when that child’s pornographic images are recorded. Every time an individual like Remsen possesses those images and views them for personal gratification, that child is victimized again and again,” said Keri Farley, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “The FBI will always make it a priority to protect our most vulnerable assets, our children.”

“Federal prosecution sends a clear message that downloading and viewing child sexual abuse material is a serious crime. The GBI’s Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes Unit investigates numerous cases just like this one and will not slow down until these perpetrators are held accountable.  We’ll continue to work with strong federal partners, like the United States Attorney’s Office, to seek justice for these vulnerable victims,” said GBI Director Chris Hosey.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, GBI conducted an undercover investigation on the peer-to-peer sharing network BitTorrent in July 2017. An undercover agent received 29 videos containing CSAM from an IP address traced back to a Walton County residence where Remsen resided. Law enforcement searched the residence in Jan. 2018, recovering a computer tower belonging to Remsen that contained 2,357 picture files and 196 video files of suspected CSAM (also known as child pornography). Remsen was interviewed by law enforcement and made statements indicating that he “accidentally” downloaded CSAM, and then later stated that it was not an accident. He further admitted that he looked at CSAM, but he never meant to download or keep it. The explicit photos and videos contained child sexual abuse material of children 12 years old and younger.

The case was investigated by the GBI and the FBI.

Criminal Chief Leah McEwen prosecuted the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Alex Kalim previously assisted with the prosecution.

Updated November 7, 2023