Kalispell man who sexually exploited child sentenced to 18 years in prison
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Montana
MISSOULA — A Kalispell man who admitted to taking sexually explicit photographs of a child while boating in Flathead County was sentenced today to 18 years in prison to be followed by 15 years of supervised release, U.S. Attorney Leif M. Johnson said.
Edward Timothy Cockerham, 43, pleaded guilty in October 2021 to sexual exploitation of a child.
U.S. District Judge Dana L. Christensen presided.
“Cockerham victimized a child for his own sexual gratification. Today’s sentence holds him accountable for his reprehensible conduct and puts other offenders on notice that they face serious consequences for harming children. Crimes involving the sexual exploitation of children will be fully investigated and prosecuted. I want to thank Assistant U.S. Attorney Cyndee L. Peterson, the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations, Montana Division of Criminal Investigation, and the Montana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force for their work on this case,” U.S. Attorney Johnson said.
In court documents filed in the case, the government alleged that in June 2021, Cockerham went to Ashley Lake in Flathead County with two children. Cockerham took the victim, who was under the age of 18 and was identified as Jane Doe 1, boating. While out on the water, Cockerham touched and took sexually explicit pictures of Jane Doe 1. Jane Doe 1 reported Cockerham’s actions. The Flathead County Sheriff’s Office seized Cockerham’s cell phone and searched it pursuant to a warrant. An initial review determined Cockerham had deleted all of the images. A subsequent search of the cell phone by a forensic examiner with the Montana Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigation located sexually explicit images of Jane Doe 1, along with sexually explicit images of two other child victims.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Cyndee L. Peterson prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations, Montana Division of Criminal Investigation, and the Montana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
This case was initiated under the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood initiative, which was launched in 2006 to combat the proliferation of technology-facilitated crimes involving the sexual exploitation of children. Through a network of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies and advocacy organizations, Project Safe Childhood attempts to protect children by investigating and prosecuting offenders involved in child sexual exploitation. It is implemented through partnerships including the Montana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. The ICAC Task Force Program was created to assist state and local law enforcement agencies by enhancing their investigative response to technology facilitated crimes against children.
Clair J. Howard
Clair J. Howard
Public Affairs Officer
Updated February 3, 2022
Project Safe Childhood