Etowah County Man Sentenced to 80 Years in Prison for Producing, Possessing Child Pornography
BIRMINGHAM -- A federal judge today sentenced an Etowah County man to 80 years in prison for exploiting two young children to produce child pornography, and for possessing about 1,500 pornographic videos and images of other children, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance, Homeland Security Investigations New Orleans Acting Special Agent in Charge Cindy M. Johnson and Etowah County Sheriff Todd Entrekin.
U.S. District Judge Virginia Emerson Hopkins sentenced VICTOR GRAY DINGLER, 33, to the 80-year prison term, to be followed by a lifetime of supervised release. Dingler pleaded guilty in November to five counts of producing child pornography between 2008 and 2014, and to two counts of possessing child pornography involving children younger than 12.
Some of the pornography Dingler produced involved a 3-year-old child. The second victim was an elementary school student in Etowah County, according to court records. The Alabama Department of Education was instrumental in helping law enforcement locate that child in September 2014, after HSI received a series of images that originated from a website located by Danish National Police. One of the images included a blanket bearing an Alabama university logo, according to court records.
“The government sought a sentence that would put this defendant behind bars for the rest of his life because of the serious and appalling nature of his crimes against young children," Vance said. "He has acknowledged that he sexually abused two young children, and that he produced and distributed pornographic images of his exploitation. His victims will have to live the rest of their lives with the memories of what he did to them, and with the knowledge that he memorialized his abuse in images and videos, some that travelled around the world," she said.
"Individuals who produce child pornography are directly responsible for what is, in plain language, the rape of children. Child pornography steals the innocence of children and destroys lives," Johnson said. "Sexual abuse scars children for life, and HSI will continue to use all the tools in its arsenal to identify the perpetrators of these horrendous acts and seek justice on behalf of their victims,” she said.
"We are pleased with the sentence given to this predator today," Entrekin said. "His disgusting behavior and abusive actions have taken away the innocence of young victims; something no one, no matter the age, should ever endure. I appreciate the cooperation among Homeland Security Investigations and the office of U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance in bringing this case to a close.”
The victimization of the innocent children depicted in the pornographic pictures Dingler possessed "continues to live on with an insidious vitality through the perverted behavior of people like the defendant, who each and every time they distribute and receive an image of a naked child, proliferate the available quantity of the material," the government said in its sentencing memorandum.
The Department of Homeland Security-HSI and the Etowah County Sheriff's Department investigated the case, which Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jacquelyn Hutzell, Xavier Carter and Daniel J. Fortune prosecuted.